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    10 Replies Latest reply on Nov 5, 2007 11:05 AM by Ed O'Gee

    What do you do when you already started your business and have a store but no customers?

    PC PHIXER Newbie
      this is like my worst fear of all in having a location out in the city or public or where ever. say i have already started a business already. and its been 8 months and business was good at first then it died down to where i am lucky to even have 10 customers a day, what do you do?

      Does it depends on the location of the store? or is the econime so bad that no one is even shoping?
      I have already stared advertizing, been to other companies, schools, etc.
      is it just time to give up and start something different?
        • Re: What do you do when you already started your business and have a store but no customers?
          LUCKIEST Guide
          Before I can answer your question, I need more info.
          What kind of store?? Why did you open at this location??
          What has changed over the past 8 months??
          It is hard to say give up depending on your background, your investment,
          your family and the economy.
          Do you have the funds to try advertising or marketing??
          People ARE shopping and spending money.
          Good luck, LUCKIEST
          • Re: What do you do when you already started your business and have a store but no customers?
            ScubaDive Wayfarer

            It seems that your question is one of why is your business slowing down versus picking up? Have you spoken to your customers to ask them why they come to your store and if they will return? If you have a good business, your customers should be spreading the word.

            Knowing what your customers want and growing to meet their needs is a critical aspect of any business. Maybe you can try asking them. Good luck!
            • Re: What do you do when you already started your business and have a store but no customers?
              FashionGal Wayfarer

              It's very common for a business to have peaks - for example, some businesses may make as much as 40% of their revenue in a given season and then experience lack luster revenue the other months. Is this the case with your business industry? You mentioned that you recently generated a new marketing campaign, however have you ever considered re-evaluating your pricing or product/servicing offering? Is it competitive? Does it meet current trends/demand? How is your customer service? These are just some questions to help you. Good luck.
              • Re: What do you do when you already started your business and have a store but no customers?
                Score133 Wayfarer
                If you started your business without a business plan, you won't be able to answer your question accurately. Assuming you do not have a business plan, let me tell you the type of information you'll need in order to make the right decision as to staying opening or moving on...First, how much foot traffic do you get on a daily basis? How much drive-by traffic? Do the folks that walk/drive past your shop own computers? How do you know the answer to that question? What about the surrounding community? What are the demographics; are they strong enough to support your shop? Who is your customer? Where do they live? Do they live near your shop or do they work near your shop? How convenient do you make it for them to do business with you? These are all "customer" related questions, but assuming everything else in your business is good, you'll have to answer these questions. Also, you might want to re-run your cash flow projections (just in case you didn't do those before you opened your shop). You need to figure out exactly how many customers you need every day in order to support your shop and yourself. Let me briefly mention marketing (not to be confused with advertising). Try giving talks at your local library, civic organization meetings, join the Chamber of Commerce. In other words, get really involved in your business community...it will be a constant source of customers for you. Good luck!!!!
                • Re: What do you do when you already started your business and have a store but no customers?
                  WEBillions Adventurer
                  Something happens when a new store is about to open. People notice and are curious. Curiousity not only kills the cat but also brings in the customers. What you need is a way to rejuvenate this curiousity. Marketing is key. Is there some kind of offer you can start that would bring people in to find out more? Could you possibly offer some gift for free for those that come by? A gift getter will typically return the favor in buying other goods. It's also a great way to get the word out about your store. Imagine if you found out the store down the store down the road was giving out free books or food. You'd want to go and get your loot!

                  Good luck.
                  • Re: What do you do when you already started your business and have a store but no customers?
                    nyymaverick Newbie
                    I've been in business for myself for a little over 3 years, and there are a few things that I have learned about sales and advertising.
                    With any kind of business, your sales levels will go up and down- you have to be willing to ride the wave. You need to make your business as visible as possible either by signage, advertising or the like. Personally, I think that your store signage is very important, as well as advertising in the yellowpages. My experience has been that all other forms of advertising are pretty much a waste of time and money.
                    Think of who you want to market to, do some research on the best ways to reach those people, and go for it. You need to be specific in your advertising, what I call the "shotgun" method doesn't work well. Good luck.
                    • Re: What do you do when you already started your business and have a store but no customers?
                      fandmsearch Newbie
                      It is pretty standard for a business in the beginning to have a lot of customers. Everyone is curious. It is equally important to keep their interest. Creative catchy signage will always peek an interest and help bring customers in. Make sure you have what people are looking for. It is tough times financially for everyone right now so make sure you give them a reason to visit your establishment, enjoy it and recommend it to others. People always find a way to do or buy something that they really like or enjoy regardless of the cost. If they enjoy visiting your store they will return and bring other customers with them. A flyer may help a well. Have a winning number on a couple them and a gift if they bring it in to the store. I hope this helps and I wish you good luck!
                      • Re: What do you do when you already started your business and have a store but no customers?
                        Ed O'Gee Adventurer
                        What you are describing is pretty standard - most business go through peaks and valleys, new businesses escpecially. That is why it is so important for new businesses to have enough capital to survive the rough patches. Can you tell us a little more about your business, so we can answer your question?
                        • Re: What do you do when you already started your business and have a store but no customers?
                          DeniseMM Newbie

                          Oh boy - I could write books in response to your question....

                          Yes, where you're located matters. If you are not in a location that's easy to get to and contains a lot of people in your demographic - it's a problem. Just as an example - for each MacDonald's or Starbucks or other stores they spend a whole lot of money on what's called a Site Selection Study to determine if a particular location will be good for one of their stores. They look at traffic, parking, what other stores are nearby, the demographics for the area and more.

                          Now, about marketing. It's a constant thing - getting the word out. If you've opened your business already - it's time to do a crash course in marketing. You will always be marketing. Always doing things to attract people to your business and to keep coming back. It's not like you just do it for your Grand Opening and then you're on coast for the rest of your business life.

                           


                          We don't have any idea what kind of business you have so it's difficult to make a specific suggestion. But it all falls into the category of getting the word out. Think about "buzz." Think about getting media exposure. Paid ads are a black hole into which most small business owners just throw money - with little results. As a small business owner you need to come up with something creative that aligns you and your business as a very real part of the community. This is what I help my marketing mentoring clients to do. Come up with and implement strategies that get results.

                          One way - join the Chamber of Commerce or another networking group and get active. It's not a fast solution - it's more long range - but it's free and it's very important. For a faster, more splashy way to get the word out - have a contest of some kind and get the local newspaper to publicize it. I've helped clients put together these kind of promotions and they can be done very inexpensively and create a lot of attention - and sales. If they are done correctly.

                          There are sooooooo many things that can be done to create shoppers coming back into your store!

                           


                          All the best,

                           


                          Denise Michaels

                           

                          Author, "Testosterone-Free Marketing"

                           

                          PS: Visit me online at http://www.MentoringwithDenise.com