Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Got Tough Location?

We all know that there is a tough choice for small businesses choosing a physical location for their store or office:  optimize visibility? or optimize cost?  Like it or not, most owners end up with affordable but often invisible locations. And aggressive advertising promoting the location is usually beyond reach. So what to do?

Sometimes "second level" advertising works.  I know business owners who deploy sidewalk signs visible from roads, or well labeled vehicles in adjacent parking lots.  Much depends on circumstances, but again visibility is limited to observant, nearby persons.   But it's a start.

Handouts, flyers and other physical notices are good.  I have also seen some use "mailbox" notices (usually taped to the side of mailboxes) to great effect.  Consider how easily you can get these in the hands of your target market and what you can afford to print.  Remember that the paper must go to someone who is a target customer!  This might be a great summer job for a diligent teenager.

Social media can be a great helper.  Post news about specials, or special events at your location and politely ask your social media friends and followers to let others know, especially if there are incentives to visit (anything from sales to free food).  Customers who already love you will be happy to let others know about you.

Finally, look at a partnership with an adjacent but compatible business, or two.  By combining advertising resources it is easier to get the word out.  Again, focus on a special event of some kind to incentivize customers to visit both of you.

Bottom Line: a tough location is not an insurmountable obstacle.  There are low-cost tools and techniques that can help you overcome and build a loyal following.

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