Congratulations, you’ve scraped and saved and now opening your dream shop in Chicago, or at least, your Dream Shop 1.0. Big and better may need to wait a year or
Now what? You’ve heard the expression, “build a better mousetrap and the money will roll in?” Guess what? There are thousands before you that “built a better mousetrap” and had to close their dream shop within 6 months to a year. What gives?
The answer lies in one word, which is called brand awareness. You don’t necessarily need a better mousetrap, although that helps, however the first thing you need to do is build a louder mousetrap that attracts the attention of customers.
There are literally thousands of things that compete for your customer’s attention each and every day. In the “old days,” advertising on the radio or TV did the trick, especially when there were only a few channels.
Ask anybody over 40 who lived in Southern California about the original Car dealer Cal Worthington who became a multi-millionaire by advertising campy TV commercials about Cal in a Cowboy suit and his dog spot. Only Spot was never a dog, but rather a chimp, a tiger, a hippo, or more.
Cal may not have had a better dealership but he sure knew how to capture people’s attention.
Today, small businesses that want to grow quickly do so by using similar principles on social media. Toms Shoes went from an apartment to a $300 million dollar business by advertising social responsibility. For every one of Tom’s shoes that people buy, Tom’s gives away one pair free to destitute children without shoes in foreign countries.
Rent the Runways offers fabulous, one of a kind designer dresses on their website for rent or to buy, and then encourages women to post photos of themselves looking fabulous on social media, whether they be 18 or 60.
Bakeries bake the world’s biggest cookies and then share the cookie at an event.
Getting brand attention in a clever manner is one reason why many local businesses hire a Chicago SEO company.
If you’re not clever enough to think of ways to really find rabid fans fast, a Chicago SEO company should be part of your start-up plan.
Next, keep the ball rolling
You should always be looking for ways to “stand out” If you own a small restaurant, make once a week a costume night.
You should have at least one event every 6 months and plan for events that draw attention from the media. Invite a local fire station to dinner on your dime. Make sure that the media knows its happening.
Hire enthusiastic staff
A new business doesn’t need just anybody running the till or waiting on customers. They should be incredibly upbeat and friendly. A friendly business beats an efficient business that has lackluster customer service.
Hire Friendly and Gregarious if you want to succeed.
Pay attention to offering extra service
If you own a shop where assembly of a product is required, for example, a bicycle shop or a place to buy furniture, assemble it absolutely free. You’ll gain customers for life.
Become a trusted source of information
If you open a medical marijuana dispensary in Chicago don’t just sell marijuana. Not only do you need trained staff but you should have at least 6 or 8 brochures to give out to each new customer explaining in detail the ins and outs of using medical marijuana.
There are plenty of articles about having the right amount of capital and using technology to reduce overhead, but the best way to make your new business successful is to become a real asset to your customers.