Running a small business is rewarding — but it’s also hard work.
In a market flooded with overly efficient, even automated, corporations, it can be difficult to stand out.
But small businesses like yours offer something that those large companies can’t — you offer community, connection, and a face (or faces) behind the product. You offer the same quality, in a much more personal manner.
You rely on your customers. They rely on you.
So, here are some ways you can encourage your customers to support small business.
Share Your Small Business Story
Customers want to connect. They want to know your story — your passion, your struggles, your “why”. One of the great things about small businesses is that they’re more human, more relatable. When buyers can connect with the people behind the product, they’re more likely to offer their business and become a loyal customer — boosting your profits.
Has your family store been passed down for generations? Tell your customers how your small business has grown over time. Are you an entrepreneur ready to carve out a new career? Share what sparked your transition.
Your passion for your business sets you apart from large chain stores, and customers will be excited to support you.
Connect With Your Customers
Once you establish a relationship with potential and existing customers, you have to keep that connection. Building and maintaining a strong customer base comes down to consistent communication.
But don’t bombard buyers with unnecessary emails and texts. Be intentional about what you’re communicating, and have a conversation with your customers.
Share the latest updates on the store, and be sure to loop them in on any changes being made. Will your operating hours be different during the holiday season? Let them be the first to know. Or maybe you’re adding a new brand or product to your inventory — tell them why you chose this specific one. Communicate everything that a customer needs and wants to know.
And remember to always leave the floor open for feedback. No one knows what the customer wants better than the customer.
Source and Support Local
One of the best parts of running a small business? Supporting other small businesses.
Partner with other local businesses. Many don’t have a storefront — let them use yours. Sell small products at checkout, or create a standalone display. Host an event, set up a giveaway, or create a bundled package. Not only will you likely attract a larger audience, you’ll establish a connection with your community members, which will encourage them to support you and your business long-term.
Reciprocate that support, too. Consider sponsoring local sports teams, creating fundraisers, and participating in community service events.
Make your presence in your community known — it’s great for brand recognition, too.
Personalize the Customer Experience
Customers choose to support small businesses because they offer a unique, more personalized shopping experience.
Recognize your customers’ needs (and wants), make recommendations, and offer unique discounts. Studies show that 80 percent of buyers are more likely to give a company their business if their experience is personalized.
Take the time to truly get to know who you’re selling to, and you can cater an experience that will keep customers coming back for more.
How You Can Encourage Your Customers to Support Small Business
The beauty of a small business is its ability to connect with customers and the community on a more personal level. Share your story, engage with buyers, and find a point of sale (POS) solution that helps you do so (think: automation and a customer loyalty program!).
Schedule a demo of our POS system, and learn how we can help your small business think big.