Inexpensive Ways To Attract New Local Customers


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For a business to grow, it needs to attract new customers, while also maintaining the customers it already has. But many growing businesses don’t have a lot of marketing dollars to spread around in order to try and grow their presence. This can provide a conundrum for businesses. So how do companies work to resolve this conflict?

The answer is to work on finding inexpensive ways to attract new customers. These are just a few strategies that can help you find the customers you need and want to expand your audience.

Build social media presence

We often think that social media presence is something that only big companies need to worry about, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Even if your business only has a simple Facebook page and monitors its reviews on sites like Yelp and Google, that is a social media presence.

Keeping an eye on what’s happening in these locations can help you connect with local customers and niche buyers. These customers are the ones most likely to be your most loyal customers over time, so they’re important to cultivate.

Use physical advertising

Companies often focus on digital advertising, and with good reason. Building a social media presence, spreading word of mouth, and creating a high-quality website can all help customers find a business and trust the company to fulfill its promises.

But for companies that have brick and mortar businesses, there are more advertising options available. Physical advertising can be particularly important. When shopping offline, customers prefer to shop locally – in fact, some research has shown that the bulk of a business’s customers live just five miles away.

So making sure that customers can see that your business exists is key to bringing in new customers. Using signs, banners, and visual flags can help catch the eyes of potential customers and make them curious about what your business has to offer.

Support amazing service

Any business should offer great customer service, especially in a world where so many options are available for every purchase. Customers, especially younger customers, are looking for a great experience as much as they’re looking for a great product.

There are many ways to offer great service; your return policy should be simple and understandable, your in-store representatives should be knowledgeable, well trained, and friendly, and your pricing should be competitive.

If you’re charging more than other nearby businesses, it should be clear why. For example, a sit-down restaurant can charge more for a meal than a fast food restaurant. This is because someone comes to the table to take your order then brings you your food, the food is higher quality, and the overall experience of eating out is valued.

When your business demonstrates its value immediately, customers don’t mind paying more for the service.
And when your company is offering incredible service, your customers will tell other people about your business, helping you attract new customers.

Create reciprocal discounts

This is a strategy that more companies should employ. The secret of reciprocal discounts is to make sure you’re offering a discount for a company that your customers would be interested in. For example, a movie theater might offer a discount on concessions if you’ve eaten dinner in the area that evening; a casual pizza place might offer a small discount or a free appetizer if you show your ticket stubs.

This is the same kind of add-on purchase that works in stores. You might not have been planning to get popcorn at the movie theater, but with a discount, it seems like a better deal and makes it more likely that you’ll decide to splurge.

Volunteer opportunities

Another way to get attention for your business is to find local volunteer opportunities. Simple tactics like handing out drinks during a city marathon or 5k race, running a table at a fair or expo, or volunteering at a local school sporting event can help to get your business’s name out there and get some attention for yourself. If you can wear business t-shirts or logo caps, that can help potential customers associate your company with the event.

Businesses often assume that it will cost a truly huge amount of money to find new customers. It’s true that finding new customers is, in general, more expensive than keeping the ones you have – but that doesn’t mean that the search for new customers is ever truly over.

After all, a certain amount of customer attrition is inevitable, and new customers will help a business sustain growth. But attracting those customers doesn’t have to be expensive. Work with what you have, work within your community, and find ways to spread your name around with a positive reputation. Companies will get the attention they need over time, building their customer base along the way.

Margarita Hakobyan
CEO and founder of, an online marketplace of local moving companies and storage facilities. Business women, wife and mother of two with bachelor's degree from the University of Utah with a concentration in International Studies and a Masters Degree also from the University of Utah with a degree in International business.


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