Location is extremely important for every business but, as you may already know, a central location that can be easily accessed by your prospects can cost you a small fortune. This is why many business owners choose to start businesses in the outskirts of big cities, areas that are considerably cheaper although the location may be out of reach for many people. While it is true that a bad location can have an impact on your target market, it is important to understand that you can still make it thrive, with the right marketing and advertising techniques.
Statistics reveal that approximately half of the new businesses fail within the first five to ten years of operation, and you surely do not want yours to turn into a statistic. The thumb rule is very simple: you must provide top-notch products of services, promote them with an eye-catching, appealing and customer-oriented advertising message (be it a billboard or an online ad) and offer the best price-per-quality ratio.
If you are on a tight budget yet you do not want to make any compromise in terms of quality advertising, then combine online advertising with offline advertising: make sure to focus on fliers, direct e-mail messages, brief radio commercials, freebies that will increase brand awareness, small discounts and promotional offers that will stimulate the interest of your prospects and so on. For instance, if you open a cake shop you can give away free cakes on the opening day, and you can inform the local radio and newspaper about it – this will surely stimulate people to come and give it a try! On the other hand, testimonials coupled with social marketing and video marketing techniques are also highly efficient for boosting the visibility of your business, as a strong Internet presence is everything you need, in most cases. This is the “success formula” to make any business thrive, regardless of its niche or location.
Nonetheless, it often happens that the business plan is to blame for the low revenue, rather than the location itself – generally speaking, older businesses are more likely to blossom in bad locations, given the fact that they have already built a reputation for themselves. If your small business does not rise to your expectations, it is important to carefully analyze the business plan before blaming the location, as it often happens that the small details can make a difference (maybe the parking lot is too small or it is not placed very conveniently for your customers, for instance). Also, offering free additional services (such as valet services) can come in handy.
Though the location is not in your favor, you can make use of a number of low-cost unconventional marketing strategies. First, go ahead and get a copy of Jay Conrad Levinson's book “Guerrilla Marketing”. Read it cover to cover. I'm sure and you will get a number of marketing ideas.
Use social media - give away coupons and freebies
Make use of Groupon deals
Make sure you are reachable through Google local search
The bottom line is that if you have started your business in a bad location, it is important to stimulate your customers to travel all the way to your cake shop, restaurant or café for your products or services. No matter if you offer products at extremely affordable prices or you just offer a particular product that they cannot find anywhere else, it is important to find that key element that makes your business stand out from the crowd. This way, your business will become a regular for your local prospects – it is important to keep trying, even if at the moment you only manage to make your bills, as you will surely build a solid base of loyal customers in the long run and your profits will increase significantly.
Image credit: altterrain.com & dgmckelvey