Making your small business attractive to customers
The competition in the business world is stiff, whether it is a large-scale venture or a small or medium-scale enterprise. To stay afloat as an entrepreneur, you need to attract customers and have enough clients who will patronise your products and services. Small businesses contribute massively to the Gross Domestic Product of Nigeria and many entrepreneurs across the country run one small enterprise or the other.
Therefore, to remain in business, considering the stiff competition out there, you must have what it takes to attract customers to your enterprise. This is only natural as customers will always patronise businesses that attract them and meet their various needs. In trying to woo customers to your business, start some kind of contest. This is because everybody loves to win. It is not just always about the prize you win; it is the thrill of getting lucky or beating other people. You may call it ego, or whatever you like, but it always works.
To spread the word about the contest, you could use word of mouth and social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter. But in carrying this out, you should ensure that you can comfortably afford the prize(s) you plan to give out. Draw out a reasonable budget and stick to it. It makes no sense if the money you make from selling your products during the contest cannot cover the cost of running it.
As you plan a contest, it is also necessary for you to have a website. Experts say small businesses need websites too, even if it has just a single page. They note that as a result of the huge influence of the Internet, the world is now more connected than ever before. Because most people now use the Internet when they want to find a product or service, it is gainful for you as an entrepreneur in the small business space to have your own website.
Small business owners should know that with the spread of mobile phones across many parts of Africa, it is easier and more effective to search Google for information rather than ask the nearest human being. So, owning your own website is no longer a luxury that only big companies enjoy. The Internet has now made it possible for everybody to enjoy the opportunity of getting found.
Experts note that more importantly, you should include your contact information such as physical address, telephone and email because a website is like your own billboard or newspaper advert. So, get your small business represented on the Internet as it often costs nothing and will benefit you a lot.
Experts usually encourage small business entrepreneurs to get their businesses listed on popular directories in their respective areas of operation. They note that today, with more than 800 million people with mobile telephones across Africa and personal privacy concerns, it would be beneficial to be listed in popular directories. Thanks to the Internet, small businesses can be listed for free on local directories.
You need to know that when a small business is registered on a local directory, people around the world can find it on the map and view its contact information. The best part is you do not have to pay anything to become registered on most of these directories. Some of the most popular ones out there are Google Places, Yahoo Local and Bing Places. As you can see, all of these directories are run by the big global Internet search giants. So, get onboard today and fast to claim your place in your business space.
Small business entrepreneurs should also be on social media. This is because the social media is changing the way business is done in today’s world. Although there are now several social media platforms across the world, Facebook leads the pack as the world’s largest social community with billions of registered users worldwide.
So, as a small business entrepreneur, popular social media networks like Facebook are some of the top places where your potential customers hang out, and it makes perfect sense that you register your business on Facebook too. It is also necessary to note that social media channels like Facebook and Twitter make it very easy for people, both customers and non-customers, to talk about your business. They can share or tweet about your products and services and this allows you to easily engage with them as a good entrepreneur.
As you get on the social media to attract customers, try to advertise online because a lot of people depend on the Internet for information nowadays. Millions of people are watching YouTube and many others read news websites and online magazines instead of the paper versions. Experts note that big companies have recognised this shift and are now investing more in online advertising over the traditional ones.
So, as an entrepreneur, you should know that since more people now spend more time on the Internet, it only makes sense that you follow them there. Google is by far the largest search engine on the Internet and millions of people around the world depend on it every day for information. So, let your business go online so that it can be searched using Google.
But it is important you know that online advertising will work best for your business if you have a website for your enterprise. As you go online, you can also print and distribute flyers. Flyers remain a simple but very effective way to publicise and advertise your business. They usually work best for small businesses that target customers within a particular area, such as university campuses, residential estates, offices and industrial areas.