The simple task of letting a prospective customer know that you exist is a huge part of marketing. For many people the first place they notice becomes the place they do business with. When they move to a new town the first dry cleaner they notice gets first shot at their business. But by no means is the first one they notice always the closest or the best it’s just the first one they notice. When I moved to Florida last year and my car got a ding I took it to the biggest and brightest body shop without even noticing at the time that I drove past four others in the process. The first insurance agent I called was the one whose small office faced the main road and had a huge blue sign. The first dentist I called was the only one whose ad said he would take calls 24 hours. I of course had massive tooth ache at 6am on the first morning of a three day weekend. Think back to how you choose a particular business especially when you where new in an area, didn’t you often go to the fist or most familiar looking place? With that in mind allow me to share with you several methods to attract attention and put more prospects, clients or customers into your business.
1. Business signs
Often you see huge and expensive signs with nebulous headings like Smith and Associates. Make you marquee sign as specific and clear as possible, letting people know exactly what you do. Computer Repairs, Family Dentist, Attorney at Law, Gift Shop. Remember people buy solutions and benefits nothing else! Putting your name in lights may appeal to your ego but it most cases it will do nothing to increase your income!
2. A-frame signs
One of the simplest and most cost-effective ways to attract business is to invest in a colorful A-frame sign. These signs often attract a great deal more attention than your regular marquee sign. This is due to the fact that it sticks out because it’s new. And also, because it’s right on the sidewalk at eye level. Move it around constantly to different positions in your shopping center and you’ll be surprised how many people walk in and ask you if you’d just opened, even though you may have been in the same location for years.
Now, one little tip. A lot of cities have rules against this type of signage. They employee important people often directly related to Napoleon to drive around and tell you that it’s unsightly and against city ordencees, written of course by government officials who never had to meet rent or payroll in their lives. The key to getting around this is to use the signs in the summer evenings after 5:00 or 5:30 when the inspectors go home, or you can put them out on the weekends when the inspectors are off work. I even had one client who swore that his A-frame sign brought in so much extra business that he gladly paid a weekly fine!
3. Car Signs
Get magnetic signs made up and put them on your car and you’ll promote your business all over town. If you have a van, you might even custom paint it on both sides. Always put your phone number in large letters. As well as being a great ad while you’re driving around, a well-positioned van parked at the edge of your center parking lot can be like a giant billboard. It also gets around a lot of those restrictive local ordinances about signs. As long as you have staff and assistants that have decent cars, why not get all of them put magnetic signs on their cars as well? Having signs on several vehicles also makes your business seem bigger, more successful.
4. Use a prop to get attention
In my karate schools I use to dressing up a mannequin dummy putting it in uniform and sticking it on the roof of your building doing a flying sidekick or a front kick at the street. People who’ve driven past our school for years suddenly started coming in when they noticed the dummies on the roof. We only did it for a couple of weeks in the summer, but it sure attracted a lot of attention. It may sound corny, but it got our school noticed. It would work equally week for clothing stores, uniform shop, sporting goods stores and just about anything else you can think of as long as you use an appropriate prop to tie the dummies into what it is you actually sell.
For those businesses a dummy doesn’t suit there are all kinds of custom balloons and giant blow up icons that certainly make you business stand out from the crowd. From blimps to soda can, houses to cars you name it and you can get a giant inflatable that matches your needs. Giant spotlights are another way to capture attention particularly in the winter or for those businesses that do a bulk of their business in the evening such, as restaurants and nightclubs. Letting people in your area know that you even exist is a big part of getting the ball rolling towards conquering your market. Take whatever action you must to let people know you are there!
5. Change your window even if you’re not in retail
Make use of your windows for some type of thematic display even if you are not in retail. There are thousand of businesses like insurance agency’s, attorneys and even doctors offices that have retail based locations with windows and walk by traffic. Instead of covering them up with dusty blinds these could be put to far greater use encouraging people to stop look and remember the name of your business for a future date when they might have need of your services. You want people to stop, to look, to listen. You want them to say, “Wow!” every time they walk past your window.
6. Paint your business for success
Paint you building a unique color, Barbie’s Hairstyling might go well in bright pink. While Hall’s paint shop might have splashes of brightly colored paint all over the building. A computer store might attract attention with black paint and fluorescent green writing. The key is to find some color combination that works in a prospects mind for your specific field.
7. Five sense marketing smell
There are five different senses to attract people’s attention to your business, you are not limited to just getting visual attention. Place a small all-weather speaker on the outside of your building and play music into the street to attract people as they walk by your business. If you own a clothes shop for teen’s rock makes sense, if it’s a chiropractic office water sounds or oriental music would be far better. Whatever you choose make sure that it sets a mood congruent with what you do. Just as on TV, advertisers get your attention by honking a horn or ringing a doorbell, people will automatically give your business more attention if they hear music drifting out from it as they walk by.
Trying one of these ideas will help good but why not use all of them and really attract some attention?