Competition is getting more and more fierce.

If you are a retailer, especially a smaller chain or independent operator, the deck is stacked against you.

Malls are filled with international, cookie-cutter stores. They have multiple locations, marketing departments, technology budgets and “omni-channel strategies”.

And what do you have? Not enough hours in a day. Municipal construction in front of your doors, B mall landlords who don’t want to invest, and very little experience marketing or promoting your business.

Sound dire? We certainly hope not! Because challenges bring opportunities. And here’s what we see.

You have an intimate knowledge of your clients’ likes and wants, which is based partly on instinct, experience and an understanding that there are clients out there who need to have a say and who appreciate that you listen to them.
Given this, think about how you should grow sales. The simple answer is that you need to get more people to come in the door to experience your difference firsthand.

To drive them to your door, it’s important to have a basic understanding that, right now, there is a segment of the population who are searching online for what you are selling. People want what you sell, they want it soon, and they’re searching for you, whether you realize it or not! The question is: Can they find you?

Take these steps to ensure that they do:

  • Claim your business with as many search engines and review sites as you can. Once claimed, you can control how you are seen and how you are found by searchers.
  • Encourage existing customers to post online reviews if they have had a great experience
  • Monitor what people are saying online about you and respond with concern to any negative comments
  • Collect email addresses and market directly to your satisfied clients.

There are tools out there that cost very little in the grand scheme of things, but add a lot of bang for the buck when it comes to claiming listings and building positive reviews. Investing in these tools allows you to stay relevant. And it keeps you doing what you do best – running your business and getting to know your customers!