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Getting customers for your local business

Getting customers for your local business

We have spoken a bit before about some ideas for services that you can sell locally to make cash!

 

Start with friends and family then work your way up and promote to some of the places listed below:

 

Here are some ways in which you can get customers for your service.

Promote in paid papers

You can look in your local papers and see if there is a page about how to get listed in their business or services section, it should be displayed on the same page anyway. (These are not always expensive maybe $10-$25 or so.  These are often called “classifieds”.

 

Get some free business cards

Business cards are an effective and relatively cheap (or free) way of getting people interested in your services, make sure to be clear and include as many ways for people to contact you as possible.  You don’t have to have a two sided business card, but it’s most likely that you won’t get any free ones if you do.  Usually you can get around 250 free business cards, you may pay for more, and you may have to pay for the delivery.  Sometimes not.  You can ask to put these up in local supermarkets, give some to friends and family or give them to people you meet out and about.  If your really feeling confident go direct to businesses and tell them what you do and ask if you can leave a business card.

Places to get free business cards:

VistaPrint 250 free business cards

Moo Free 50 Business Cards

 

Promote in the local free advertising papers

There are often free advertising papers locally which allow you to promote your services.  Ask around in your local area if you are unsure.

 

Create a Facebook Fanpage 

Facebook is a great way of getting local people to see what your doing, it is quite easy to invite all of your friends and ask them to invite their friends. (Try creating events and inviting people).  It is possible to get all of your custom from Facebook.

Run special offers on your Facebook page for people who like your page ;).

Tell friends and family

This one is quite obvious, which I did mention at the beginning, you may want to start here first.  Ask your teachers or lecturers, anyone!

Keep telling people until you’ve told all of your friends and family!

 

Do SEO for a website and be the best ranking site in your area 

Search results are now sometimes targeted to towns and city’s as Google can see where about’s you are from by looking at your IP.  It is possible to achieve high rankings quite easily if there is little competition, it depends really.  Sometimes you will find that any other competitors don’t know much about SEO.  To read more on SEO and get advice from SEO experts join our forum, or visit here.

 

Contact businesses directly

You can use Google maps, the local yellow pages or just ask around, think about what people might want/need, and how you could provide it for them.  Freelance work is very common and businesses will often pay people for jobs if they feel it is going to benefit them.  Email, or phone them, whichever best suits you.

For tips for communicating by email (does apply to speaking on the phone in some circumstances but not all).

 

Get some free leaflets or buy some

Using email signatures can be effective if you are often emailing people who live locally to you, or just if you are emailing people who may be interested in your business.

 

LinkedIn

Join LinkedIn and get connected with people and make connections with people.

 

Get some free leaflets or buy some

Drop some leaflets in local houses, remember to consider who lives in your local area and what type of people they might be.

Make sure that you think carefully about your message and why people would read your leaflet and take action.  Often people are very interested in the fact that you are a local person looking to offer reasonably priced services.

You could design these yourself with Adobe InDesign (can get a 30 day trial of the whole product) Or PagePlus x6, or any other program, like Gimp etc..

 

Look for local forums or online directories

There are often directories online for your local area that you can add yourself to, sometimes forums.  You can find these by searching in Google.

 

Testimonials

Get reviewed or testimonials on Yahoo Local etc..

 

Word of mouth

Word of mouth is often a great way to get more business.

 

What can I sell?

You can sell all sorts of services to people locally with little professional experience,for example:

  • Virus removal
  • Speeding up computers
  • Fixing computers
  • SEO services
  • Logo Design
  • Leaflet Design
  • Website Design
  • Menu Design
  • Social media management
  • Much more
  • Promote cheap gas and electricity from Utility Warehouse (Should be over 18, or help a parent to do it) www.howtosavewithus.com

 

Some sites to advertise for free:

http://www.adtrader.co.uk/

http://www.thomsonlocal.com/free-listing.aspx

http://www.sohoos.com

http://www.friday-ad.co.uk/

http://www.freeads.co.uk/

http://www.craigslist.com 

 

For more advice on setting up your own local services business join our forum or reply here.

 

Written by OIiver

Oliver is a 20 year old web-enthusiast and entrepreneur from the UK. He enjoys Marketing, SEO, Technology and Business.