1. Learn all about your business
This might sound ridiculous, after all you know your business and if you didn't you wouldn't have lasted this long. However when your spending all day working hard and nurturing the growth of your business it can be difficult to spot what is going on around you. Take a step back and find out what your potential and existing customers think about you. Try a fun survey with 10 questions for your best customers and get some valuable insight.
2. Respond back
Let's see, what did the survey tell you? Look at the results in a balanced way and try not to take the criticism personally. Take on board the good, the bad and ugly and make some positive changes. Divide all the changes into different financial categories
- Quick and cheap
- Quick and costly
- Slow and cheap
- Slow and costly
Quick and cheap is first on your list to deliver, get going with the slow and cheap at the same time and see how you get on.
3. Start to build a community
You probably have already started doing this without even realizing it. If you haven’t done this then start today.Firstly, set up a Mailing List
You can use a application like Mailchimp that will provide you with templates and guidance on sending a successful email campaign. And it won’t cost you a penny if you have under 2000 subscribers, sweet!
Set up a Facebook Fan Page
Simple and straight forward and the initial set up doesn’t have to cost you anything. Check out the resources list below on tips. Update it regularly with interest content, encourage engagement and demonstrate the passion that makes your business unique.
Get Out There
Start an account on Twitter and start having conversations with people in your local area. It’s a great way to initiate a relationship with someone you have never met. Just remember not to talk about yourself all the time, be interested in what others have to say and provide information they will find interesting or valuable.
You may not be feeling very confident if things are tough but slap a smile on your face hold your head up high and go to every event you are invited to. Your letterbox not filled with invitations? Then you are going to need to conjure up some up.
- See if your local Chamber of Commerce are organizing any events.
- Join any local small business clubs and associations.
- Sign up on mailing lists for local art galleries, shop mailing lists etc
- Check out events on Facebook and LinkedIn
4. Public relations
Do something newsworthy, write a press release about it and see if you can get some coverage. Build a relationship with your local media as an expert in fashion, footwear, lingerie whatever your boutique sells and you will be the first person they call when they need a comment on a related story.I think for boutique owners who are moderately successful or struggling and everywhere in between constant evolution with your environment is the key to growing. Try to enjoy this process and see it as a fresh new beginning.