Local businesses or small shops are the backbone of the society and the economy. They build a stronger community and helps people increase their living standards. The money you pay for the service or good bought by a small business is injected right back into the community.
Some of the benefits acquired by the customers from the community from the small businesses are that their community is identified by other communities which attracts potential customers and ultimately prosperity. They create jobs for the people from the community by giving odd jobs.
Small businesses don’t need that much revenue so they don’t charge as much as MNCs or bigger companies do. So ultimately, you are benefiting from them.
Even with all these benefits, businesses have to adopt a way to attract customers. Nowadays there is a lot of competition in the market. There are small shops everywhere. From tailors, coffee shops, cafés, restaurants, and services from carpenters, plumbers or painters. These professions not only fulfill your immediate needs for their services but are also cheaper.
So how do these super-personalized shops connect with their potential customers?
By building relationships with their customers, suppose you have a small business of a single branch grocery store near a residential area. The store keeper or probably you’re running your store yourself and hired some friendly neighborhood kid to help around the store, must be polite and accommodating. This is an old school method of retaining customers. There’s a Chinese proverb that goes well here, “A man without a smiling face, must not open a shop.”
So build on the relation that exists and try to make your customers loyal
Another way is to be reachable. Customers should have easy access to your outlet so that it doesn’t make them think that reaching your business is an inconvenience as they may switch to an easier option.
Make sure you get feedback, that is very important. As without it you cannot know what the customers want to buy. How well you are performing the role of an entrepreneur or how you can improve. By getting a feedback, customers might feel empowered and want to visit your grocery store again.
Work on your strengths. Find out which product or service is the most satisfactory for customers and build the relations on that. Say if your grocery store is the only one that provides a certain type of bread in demand then make sure it’s available.
Remind your customers that they’re helping build a better community. It may make them feel obliged to visit your place and hire your services again. People are generally compassionate and want to feel that they’ve contributed to something. So if they realize that they’re helping the community they live in, they’ll help out more.
Tell your existing customers to let their family and friends know about your business. Make sure that they had a good experience shopping at your grocery store, then request them, don’t nag! To let their acquaintances, know about your shop.
Offer discounts or packages to customers, it makes them loyal. People like to save money and get free stuff. So be a good marketer and offer chips with your drinks at a lower price or any similar offer.
Last but not least turn to your own friends and family to help out. They know how you run your business so ask them to pitch in and buy your services. Along with that tell them to let their other friends know so it may continue the chain and make it bigger.