You’ve heard it before: “It’s all about who you know.” Partner with local businesses to get your name out there. Hand out business cards, give away coupons, pass out fliers, and, most importantly, make friends with well-known companies. If you’re running a new restaurant in a big city, network with some of the local bakeries or clothing stores. Ask them if you can leave business cards or coupons at their checkout counter as gifts to their customers. It brings them business by giving them something free to give away, and it brings your business traffic by getting your name out there in the community.
Utilize the Internet
Make Facebook your best friend. In this day and time, it is one of the best marketing tools out there for new businesses. Create a Facebook page, and invite all of your friends to “Like” and “Share” it. Use it to post pictures of your new merchandise, advertise promotions and sales and offer special coupons to your “Facebook Fans.”
Be open during peak hours
Let’s say you own a gym. Unless you’re running a specialized gym geared toward specific classes or personal training, it’s likely that you’ll be competing against larger gyms that are open 24/7. That said, having your gym open from 9-5 isn’t going to be your best option. If running a 24-hour gym isn’t an option, hire staff members that are willing to come in at 5am, and hire others that are willing to stay until midnight. If you want a shot at competing with the big boys, you’re going to have to go the extra mile.
Market Your strengths
If your price is better than your competitor, get the news out there! If your products are handmade, whereas your competitors are made in a factory, make sure everyone knows it! As explained in #2, the Internet is going to be your best friend here. Also, word-of-mouth does wonders for small businesses! Spread the news to some of your gossip-loving friends, and your news will spread like wildfire.
Be active in the community
This one is self-explanatory. Attend as many community events as possible and market your business, your products and yourself. If people like you, they’ll buy from you.