In our last few blog posts we have been focused on the question “How Do I Grow My Business?” We have covered some important ground on the first of three ways to grow your business. In this post of “How To Grow Any Business” we are going to cover the final part of these first of three ways and then will move on to the next part.
We ended our last post with some discussion on how everyone in their respective industries runs their business like everyone else runs their business which is why they are getting the same results as everyone else. Let me share a little of what I mean.
Let’s say that you have a small pizza restaurant and you would like to grow. You open a little earlier than others in your area, you may do a few coupon mailers and hope that people will start to show up. Over time you slowly grow and get bigger but it is not like you were hoping. This is how most people that own this type of business run their restaurant and hope to grow and survive as well.
Now let’s look at some other things that you could do to grow your business that may be outside of the normal way of doing things. You could take a lesson from those in direct mail and/or direct sales. Rather than do a regular coupon mailer why not write a nice letter to all of those in your area (start small and test your copy, more on this at another time). The letter should be so compelling they can’t wait to try it and you can make your coupon offer right in the letter.
How about coming up with a flyer letting everyone know how great your food is (keep in mind you better have great food). Add a coupon on this flyer and have it hand delivered to all of the offices and places of business in your local area.
I can already hear some of you saying how expensive this may be but it doesn’t have to be. You could hire some young people that would love to earn some money or how about some of your employees that aren’t very busy? You could have them do it and pay them a bonus. By the way, Domino’s does this in certain areas and it has a huge effect on their business and their bottom line. It also helps to keep out their competition!
How about a free taste testing to get feedback about certain menu items or some new items that you are thinking about offering? You could give them a free drink with their meal as a thank you or a free small salad or something just to say thanks for trying it and giving their thoughts.
What about the nights that you are busy and people are waiting to get in? Why not cut up some of your offerings or new ones that you want to carry and have little bite-sized pieces on toothpicks and give them to the people standing in line and ask them what they think? By answering they can get a free drink with their meal or something like that. It takes their mind off of the wait and you get free, extremely valuable feedback.
You could also give them a coupon that is for a certain day (your slowest day of the week), and again, they get adiscount plus another coupon for more freebies and/or discounts. You want to keep the fun flowing so they get into the habit of coming back to your place of business and they will tell others.
In fact you could run a contest to see who tells the most other people and they can get a free dinner for two! By doing this your customers are now your salespeople – and they aren’t on your payroll!
Get the idea? Think outside of your industry to come up with some great marketing ideas and most of them don’t cost much.
Now, how could you use these same ideas if you were an auto repair shop? Certainly you won’t be giving food away, right? Maybe, maybe not.
Why not create a coupon that offers a discount or a free safety inspection and have it hand delivered to all of the local businesses in your area? Why not offer a special price on everything you do to the large companies nearby you to give to their employees to help them lower their cost of repairs. Maybe the large company will pick up some of the cost and add it as a benefit of working there.
Maybe you could do a barbecue where you give away free burgers and hot dogs to say thank you to the community for their business. You could also have your local newspaper cover it and get even more free publicity out of it. Contact your local TV station and have them cover it and let them know about all that you are doing to help the community.
How about having a special day per month along with special pricing for single moms? Have the local paper and TV station cover what you are offering. Post it on Facebook, YouTube and other places to let people know what you are doing.
Speaking of YouTube, do some short videos that are safety related or summer/winter driving related and upload them so that people see you have their interests in mind. You will be a hero in your hometown and get more people coming to you rather than you trying to find them.
How about going to local businesses in your area and ask them to carry and promote your coupons and you will do the same for them. The customer gets a discount from both of you or special services, etc. By doing this you have others promoting your business as you promote theirs and you both gain new customers that you wouldn't be able to get without them.
Keep these ideas in mind for every type of business out there. Let us know what you think by commenting on our information and check us out on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and our website. We have tons of free information to help you to grow your business now!
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