Getting more customers through your door - checklist

couple carrying shopping bags

Winning sales from people who wouldn't otherwise know about your business, let alone visit your premises, could make a considerable difference to your firm's success. Here are some simple things you can do to get more footfall.

  • Point people in the right direction. If your premises are a little off the beaten track, make sure you're well signposted. Put up signs to point potential customers in your direction from busier places locally (remember to keep it legal). Make it clear how people can benefit by visiting you.
  • Take direct action. Give away flyers on a busy street, perhaps flagging up an incentive, such as a special introductory offer. If this really isn't your thing, think about paying someone else to do it.
  • Do a leaflet drop. Post leaflets through the letterboxes of potential customers nearby. Make them attractive and eye-catching, but be clear and concise when highlighting the benefits you offer. Make sure you let people know how they can find you.
  • Create partnerships with other businesses. Make referrals and recommendations in return for those you receive from others. Link to one another from your websites, perhaps with an exclusive discount or incentive. Provided you're not in direct competition, consider teaming up with other businesses to fund bigger and better promotion drives.
  • If your business looks attractive, more customers are likely to come through your door. Take a fresh look at your windows and exterior areas - a simple lick of paint or a deep-clean can make all the difference. If you have more money to spend, new professional signage can transform your look.
  • If you decide to give your premises a makeover, be sure to throw a relaunch event, complete with special offers. Do a leaflet drop, find a good angle so you can try to get coverage in the local press, and invite as many potential customers as you can.
  • Your shop window is the best space to market your products to passing customers, so make sure you use it to showcase your most appealing offers. Don't try to cram too many things into the space; pick a limited number of items that are likely to appeal to the greatest number of passers-by.
  • Advertise your best deals outside your premises. Attention-grabbing slogans or images on a pavement board can be a highly effective way of getting more punters through the door.
  • Loyalty card schemes aim to encourage brand loyalty and repeat business. Simple and reasonably cheap to introduce, a loyalty card is stamped each time a customer makes a purchase. When they have enough stamps, they get a free or discounted item.
  • Give passers-by free access to your products. Let them taste, feel, smell or sample what you are selling. This could be anything from placing a samples board outside a shop to hosting a free open evening.

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