Small business/restaurant owners everywhere have been hit hard by this pandemic. Some have laid off employees and some have had to close their doors on their business and their dreams. They are not only wondering when this will end but also what it will look like on the other side.
These establishments usually work on tight margins and even a small drop in sales has a huge effect on their bottom line. In times like these, if they are breaking even, they are thinking of it as a win. They are strapped for cash and are looking for ways to get customers “in” the door and keep their “doors open”.
So in light of that, I wanted to offer a few marketing tips that get you thinking out of the box :
Work your current client database– Offer specials as they are already sold on you so you don’t need to spend additional marketing dollars. Send out emails/newsletters. If you have the manpower make personal phone calls. Start a loyalty program.
Ask your current clients for a referral, a review– Ask them to post a review on Google, Yelp, or one of the social media platforms that you are active on. Start a referral rewards program.
Increase your Interactions on social media– Keep working on building your long term community relationships through social media. Join local Facebook or Nextdoor community groups. Create engagement days on your pages/groups, for example you could start a Fun Friday post and ask questions thats create conversation and buzz. Build a micro community of connections that keeps them coming back.
Connect with other business owners near you- Find ways to connect and collaborate on initiatives with business owners near you. Reach out to businesses in the same complex as yours and possibly do a group promotion. A few years ago, I worked with a shaved ice place that gave us discounted offer cards which we shared with our patients that finished treatment. It was a win win for both.
Communication- Make sure to let your clients know whats going on with the business. Be authentic in your message and story – be it struggles, small wins and even safety precautions at the business you have implemented. With
Marketing doesn’t always involve spending dollars and is never immediate, it has its fair share of peaks and slumps. Also, remember Marketing is simply not an important part of business success – it is the business. Be authentic in your message, your approach and work on building those relationships. but be patient as building relationships takes time.
Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and several other companies say it best: “No sales. No company.” I know you are tired and you are exhausted, but think back to your WHY you started this business.
And let the reminders of that WHY be the wind beneath your wings, that gets you up every day and keeps you hustling. Everyone is hurting, struggling, and hustling, so work together as together we rise higher and yes don’t forget to Wake up, Kick &$^, and Repeat.