Running a business is a difficult job at the best of times, and depending what industry you are competing in at the moment, has probably never been harder due to increased use of the internet and globalization. While these two things have undoubtedly brought many positives along with them, there are also negatives which can be detrimental to your bottom line.

In this piece, we will be trying to uncover ways for you to attract new customers, and also retain existing ones. It is important that you are always trying to do this, no matter how successful your business might be because you never know what is round the corner and complacency can allow competitors to gain an advantage!

1. Renovate

Your physical store is where you sell your products and is probably the most important part of your business. No matter what type of business you are running, be it a garage, a shop, a café, restaurant or hotel, they all need to look their best to attract customers.

This may seem like common sense to some of you, and in many ways it is, but you might be surprised at the amount of shops that have implemented bad design and have suffered as a result.

The most important rule is to tailor your design to your customers. If you own a high-end restaurant, it might not make sense to have an informal look. However, there is a trend at the moment of ‘hipster’ food places that often have a rugged home-made look, and these get away with it—not quite as straightforward as it seems, is it?

Only you know what style of restaurant you are comfortable with operating and also what your existing customers want, so it is probably best to check out the local competition as the aforementioned hipster bars are becoming more common, and the market risks being saturated.

2. Traditional marketing

Once your business looks its best, it’s time to increase your brand awareness. This is a critical step and is why there are so many (very wealthy) companies devoted purely to marketing, advertising, and consumer research.

This includes all the old favorites such as radio, television and newspaper advertising as well as business signs, etc. The main advantages of these methods are that they can have a broad reach across a broad range of customers. For local businesses, this means that you can target people in your local region from all backgrounds and age ranges, which means more potential customers.

A new twist on the old business sign model is the increasing use of vehicle wraps that can be offered by a sign company. This means that your brand can advertise as you drive your vehicle around the various parts of your local area.

Another benefit of these types of advertising is that most people are comfortable and familiar with the technology used. For example, if you know that your business is popular with baby-boomers then this demographic is hard to target using other types of marketing.

3. Internet Marketing

Sometimes known as digital marketing, this is a relatively new player that is becoming more popular with not just local businesses, but larger ones too.

The increasing use of the internet in our day to day lives and its global reach are the driving forces behind the recent surge in digital marketing. The global reach part probably isn’t all that useful for your business if your customer base is mostly local, but this doesn’t mean that it is ineffective.

Digital market for local businesses is becoming increasingly important as people will usually take to their favorite search engine to find something out, for example ‘best place to eat in Manhattan.’ If you have a restaurant in Manhattan and don’t have a web presence, it is unlikely that they will ever find you if they base their decision on search results alone.

No one method alone is likely to work to attract new customers to your business, and these are just an introduction into the complex world of marketing. The more innovative you are with your methods, the more likely it is that you will get your brand noticed and this is probably the best advice we can give if you are stuck for more ideas.