How to Find New Customers
One of the best ways to find new customers is through marketing a business. Depending on the method, the cost ranges from nothing to a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars per month. Consider the following marketing approaches for generating new business.
Build a Website. Regardless of whether a business sells products online, a website is an effective way to reach new customers. There are several options available for Web hosting: free hosting, shared hosting, dedicated hosting, and colocation. Depending on the service selected, the price varies from nothing for a free service, to around $200 per month for a colocation hosting option. The site should be well designed, professional, and should include contact information and content about the business. Also, consider posting updates about current and up-coming promotions and printable online coupons.
Give Away a Product or Service. Find new customers by giving away a free product, a sample product, or a free evaluation. This is an inexpensive way to introduce customers to the products or services offered by a business. Make sure to avoid attaching conditions to the giveaway.
Create a Postcard. A postcard can be used in a variety of ways. A postcard can include a coupon, a survey, an announcement, or incentives. In general, it will cost $100 to $200 for the production of 1,000 postcards. Make sure that the typeface is easy to read and that the contact information is easy to locate.
Make a Flyer. A flyer is another inexpensive marketing device. The creation of a flyer can be done through a printing service or with a personal computer in as little as a few hours with a layout and design program. To save money, print the flyer in black and white and distribute it to people passing by the business location instead of mailing it.
Offer Coupons. Distributing coupons through a mailing service or online is one of the best ways to drive new customers to a business. The purpose of a coupon is to entice a customer into visiting a business in order to sell the customer other products or services. It will generally cost $400 to distribute a coupon to 10,000 households in a specific zip code. There are also a number of new businesses that rely on social networking principles to distribute coupons. Businesses pay the companies for exposure on their networks and receive a number of new customers in return. When using any kind of coupons, be careful not to issue more coupons than you can successfully honor - you may do damage to your business goodwill if you can't maintain your usual level of quality and service because of a sudden rush of coupon-holders.
Advertise in the Yellow Pages. Advertising in the Yellow Pages is a great way to provide information about a business. Emphasize specialties, services, contact information, hours of operation, and the website address.
Send Out a Press Release. Releasing a press release to news establishments is a good way to receive free advertising. It is most effective to use this as a marketing technique when the business announces an event, such as a grand opening, a remodeling or a charitable event sponsored by the business.
Create an Appealing Sign. A sign, either in a fixed location or on giveaway products, is a useful way to market a business. If the business has a logo and a slogan, include it on the sign and on the products used to promote the business. A sign should be professional, easy to read quickly, and should be located where customers can see it when passing by. Consider placing a magnetic sign on the side of a vehicle.
Market a Product Through a Demonstration. Find new customers by offering a demonstration at a trade show. This is especially effective for a business that sells to other businesses. Having a booth at a trade show will provide access to salespeople and retailers, and can help establish a business as an industry leader. Maximize traffic by creating an interactive booth or by creating a booth that stands out from the others. Consider giving away free products like labeled food or snack items.
Place a Classified Ad. A classified ad in a daily or weekly newspaper is an effective method of marketing a specific product or service. Oftentimes, the ad will appear in both the print and online versions. Many newspapers offer special pricing for businesses that advertise a specific number of times. Typically, a classified ad will cost $20 to $50.
Place an Ad on a Billboard. Advertising on a billboard is a pricey marketing technique. In general, it can cost up to $5,000 per month to rent the space. The benefit, however, is that it will reach a broader segment of the population since many people see it when passing by. Consider a less expensive method like advertising on the side of a bus. This will typically cost up to $1,500 per month.
Market Through a Media Campaign. Marketing a product or service through television or radio advertising is the most expensive and complex form of advertising. While other forms of advertising only require providing information about the product, business or service, advertising through the media requires a well-developed style to convert the audience into customers. It is easy for listeners and viewers to tune out uninteresting advertising, so it is essential to grab the targeted viewer within seconds. Television and radio, however, reach more customers than newspapers. If this medium is unaffordable, consider creating an ad and posting it on YouTube or another video-sharing website for no charge.