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It's nice when you can open a business and attract new customers the next day. It's great when a web site guarantees your profitability. But none of those things happen without good planning. Without a good plan, and the proper execution, businesses die very quickly.
- Let people know you exist - Advertise yourself. If people don't know where you are and what you do, they can't buy from you. Advertising greatly increases your chances of success.
- Don't scare the customer - Make the customer feel comfortable with your product or service. Provide an environment that they will feel safe in. Make them feel good about spending their money. Don't scare the customer.
- Look the part - Businessmen wear suits. Policemen carry guns. You are reading this article because we look the part. We effectively display our ability to attract new customers. You can do the same when you look the part.
I walk by stores all the time that are open, but look very dark inside. That doesn't make me feel like going inside. They have scared me and rule #2 says don't scare the customer. You can't attract new customers if they are not comfortable with you.
If you were going to buy tools, you would expect a guy with a tool belt and a smock to help you out right? After all, he looks like he knows what he's talking about. What if you went to go buy a power saw and a lady in a clown suit asked if she could help you? Exactly. Look the part and you can attract new customers without any problems.
Online advertising is the one tool that you can use to attract new customers with a tight budget. Targeted e-mail campaigns, banner advertising and newsletters can all be highly effective ways to attract new customers. The key however is not in using them (because anyone can do that), but in using them correctly.
A small business consultant can help you figure out what's the best way for you to advertise, so that you can spend as little money as possible.
Here's a little psychology tip for you. Have you ever wondered why you see prices like $19.99 instead of $20? It's because $19.99 looks better. Although it's only a 1-cent difference, you are giving people less psychological resistance towards buying.
Here's another tip for you. Start with high prices, and then put things on sale. People are more likely to buy something when they know they are saving money. So instead of selling your product for $19.99, sell it for $49.99 and mark it down to $19.99. You won't be able to keep them in stock!
These are easy techniques that you can use yourself without the help of a small business consultant, but a consultant can help you find thousands of proven, cost-effective ways to attract new customers. Remember, to follow the 3-rules, give people a reason to buy... and they will.