I walk through Darlington town centre most Wednesday mornings at 8.30 and notice some, not many, businesses are open for business. Observing these businesses later in the day I noticed that they are the busiest.
Traditional trading times the UK is 9-5 but this is not a rule or a law. You should be open and be ready for customers before 9 am or earlier. The windows should be clean, stock refreshed, lights on and the shop clean and tidy, staff ready to serve.
In a past chapter in my life, I ran a retail outlet and later a restaurant. The retail outlet was open early, if it was warm the doors would be open, a couple of potted plants outside and my signature – the pavement brushed and swilled with water. This activity actually attracts attention and gives a good impression of an ‘on the ball’ business, its actually free advertising and great for staff positive mentality. Activity attracts activity.
In an office environment, the same applies, get the staff in early, let them go early or give extra time off in lieu or build it into the employment contract. They should be ready to take calls and conduct meetings at 9 am (or before) rather than just get going after a coffee at 9.45 ish.
Back to my observed stars in Darlington, the businesses I noticed were Savers, Relish, Alfornos and Taylors. All successful expanding businesses.
If you are stumbling through the door at 9 am, hanging around outside, the keyholder is not there and the entrance is messy it won’t take much to instigate the above and the results will be great – all for free, just a little time and effort. The early bird gets the worm.
As inane and boring and frustrating as it is Social Media is a must, must, must for businesses – most anyway.
You may have gathered that I dislike Social Media but why do I tell ALL my customers to be on it. Powerful is an underestimated description of SS. Smartphones are awfully intruding and we have stories of seeing people at dinner all looking at phones, I’m guilty too, but they are brilliant and if you’re a business who offers a service or product, for obvious reasons you should be represented.
The key is to not throw information out and hope it sticks. First, decide who you want to communicate with and adjust your activity and content to pull-in the target then plan a time and action plan to start publishing content.
For example, we manage all the SS for a manufacturing and restoration company. We set the content to attract customers from further afield (specific towns) and to attract a higher end appreciative type of customer -bigger spenders. We have now achieved this attracting customer with high-end furniture for restoration using better wording, mentioning high-end brands and painting a picture that our client is a high-end provider. We use a mix of SEO and content to SS. The results are attracting the exact customer profile in the area we want. And ongoing. This customer spends zero on advertising and all the business comes via the website.
If you want us to look at your marketing – let us know here and well book a chat.
Keep the images in WordPress a nice size – Google like it and will rank your website higher.
If your site is a little slow to load its often caused by large images. They are easily reduced within WordPress – a good size is 400 to 1000 pixels wide. Faster loading site are ranked higher as this produces a better visitor experience for your site visitors – Google like this.
Do this: Go to Media, select images, select the month (I start with the oldest), edit and re-size, click Scale.
Back in the 1990’s when I first started working with websites I always told customers to make sure they update often – most didn’t.
I now work on customers website to do this for them.
Here are a few tips to help you really make your website work:
1 – Shocking – actually look at it. Some of my customers never look at their own sites (you know who you are Jo :-)). You really need to know what’s on it, how to navigate it and does it work.
2 – Update it with an insight as to what you’re doing, your offer etc. Think about what your customers will find useful – not pictures of you at an award do. Useful stuff like when you’re open, your location and directions, guarantee you offer and FAQ’s etc.
3 – Smooth navigation – make it easy to navigate. Respond to customers questions, make it easy to contact you.
4 – Evolve – everything is changing all the time. Reflect this on your site, talk to your prospective customers.
5 – Who is your target market. Speak to them and make sure your offer is directed to your target market.
I’m often asked by new startups and recently started businesses for help – usually to market a product or get more customers.
The first thing you need to do is actually have a product – sounds odd but you must formulate your offer and how it is useful, why is it a good offer and to explain your offer to a prospective customer in a way they understand. How it works and the benefits. A prospective customer is not interested in how a widget is made but he or she will be interested in how it will benefit them. How to attract new customers comes next.
An elevator pitch/script is what you need; to explain your offer and also lots of mini elevator scripts to fill in the gaps to simply explain what your offer does and why its good – remember to demonstrate what the benefits are to your prospective customer. Here is a link to how to construct an elevator script.
So if I ask you what your business does you can tell me in 30 seconds what it does, I understand it (I’m not too bright) and understand the benefits of buying from you.
- Put together a simple product sheet that bullet points the features and benefits.
- The elevator script follows this product sheet.
- Include price points, contact and any offers you want to offer.
Now you’re ready to look to engage with prospective customers.