When you’ve just opened a small business, you have your hands full. You’re juggling a dozen different jobs, ironing out the wrinkles in management, and just working to keep the doors open and figuring out how to generate leads (whether you’re an online entity or a brick-and-mortar shop). But in this stage, just after you’ve started your business, it’s crucial to ensure you make a positive impact on customers and get as much publicity as possible.
Even though it may seem you’re like already doing everything you can, try out a couple more things that can boost your business — without taking up all of your precious time.
Focus On Social Media
In this digital age, social media can make all the difference to your business’ success or failure.
In the days immediately preceding your business’ opening, ramp up your social media presence, and keep that trend going for at least your first few weeks in business. As much as possible, interact with other local businesses and with customers (and potential customers). Send out posts about the events and happenings at your business, and include photos. And don’t forget to let people know about upcoming events before they happen, so that you can increase attendance. If this all sounds like an overwhelming amount of work to add on top of your workload, then consider hiring a social media employee. Even if you hire that employee on a temporary basis, their help can boost your sales tremendously, even after they’ve wrapped up their work.
And, if you don’t have the funds to hire even a temporary employee right now, then considering taking out a small loan to cover this cost. The investment in your company’s future will be well worth it.
Make The Physical Space As Welcoming As Possible
When you’ve already invested so much money in getting your business off the ground, adding tasteful decor into the budget can seem like too much. But don’t underestimate the power of a strong first impression.
If you don’t quite have the money to invest in decor right now, then you can focus on cheaper options or look into your loan options for a short-term money influx. No matter how much money you’re willing or able to spend, focus your energy on making the physical space of your business into a welcoming, friendly environment. Clear away any clutter or debris, and start with as clean a slate as possible. Clearly delineate each part of your business space, so that new customers are never confused about where they’re supposed to be standing, sitting, or chatting with employees.
Bring natural light and live plants into your space, if possible. These can go a long way to making customers feel relaxed and welcome, increasing retail sales or client satisfaction.
Personally Interact With Customers
You’re never too busy to interact with your customers — and the added effort can make new customers into loyal regulars. Whenever you have the time, take part in the customer-related aspects of your business, and interact with the customers as much as possible.
If you run a restaurant, for instance, then walk around the tables whenever you have some spare time and interact with the clientele. If you’re trained to serve or host, then pitch in and help out your staff (although be wary of throwing a wrench in the otherwise efficient work that your staff does), and gain some customer face time. If you don’t have the extra time for this type of intentional customer interaction — and there will certainly be periods when you don’t have the time — then consider at least posting up in the common space as you do your work. To return to the restaurant example, you could set up a space for yourself to get some work done in the restaurant area, so that you can briefly interact with customers as they come and go.
Although starting a business is a monumental task in itself, there are of course always areas where you can improve. Take some time to evaluate your own business, and see where you can add in a little effort for big returns.