The door’s unlocked, the lights are up, the staff is clocked in. Now all you need are some customers. When you’re located in a spot that’s a little less than highly visible, you wonder how much business you’re missing out on. If you’re worried about becoming your neighbourhood’s best-kept secret, it’s time to look at strategies for increasing walk-in customers.
From Web to Walk-In
One of the key reasons there are fewer people mulling about in the streets is because so many of them are online. Therefore, this is where you must attempt to reach them first. Even those who aren’t dealing with online competition, and have no plans to move online, need to work on this.
There are a few components of your successful online presence: Google My Business, a website, and social media. With Google, potential customers using the Maps app in your area can find out where you are and what you do. Do you own a restaurant? When they’re in the vicinity searching restaurants, you’ll pop up. Over time, you can enhance your presence with photos, reviews, and that website.
You don’t have to sell online to merit a great site. Make it clean, mobile friendly, and informational enough to impart some prestige.
From there, maintain at least one social media account diligently, so you can spread the word about specials and promotions. Post photos of whatever it is you’re providing, ask questions that engage visitors and respond to messages promptly.
Before you know it, people who are familiar with you online will be dropping by.
Now it’s time to get objective and ask yourself how inviting your storefront truly is. What could be done to make people that do happen to pass by taking notice?
For cafes and restaurants, signage in the form of menu boards and specials advertisements may work. Yet every small business can benefit from enhanced signage – especially that “OPEN” sign. Look into signs that aren’t only flat to the building itself; signs that hang over foot traffic or are placed on the sidewalk are more noticeable.
If you don’t want to state what you feel is already obvious, some exterior interest will help. Living green walls by Sagegreenlife, for instance, can attract eco-friendly visitors and the curious alike.
There’s also the classic, well-appointed window display. What can you place in your front window that will intrigue passerby? If you’re a restaurant, perhaps it’s a dessert case. Selling real estate? Attractive photos and specs concerning your hottest listing are just the tickets.
Retail spaces should consider displaying sale items or special seasonal fare in this window as well, and don’t hesitate to hire a designer if that window is quite large. Professionals who work in merchandising display can generally have a huge impact on how your store is travelled and who it attracts.
If you depend on walk-in business to stay open, your best investment is in attracting people to your location. Start an online presence to get more local attention, and complement this with a website and social media account. From there, make a great first impression with visual interest and signage.