Marketing for Small Business - Where Did All The Customers Go?
So where did all your clients disappear to?
In a column the other day a writer pointed out that unemployment currently in the US was hovering more or less at 10% with a additional 10%-15% of people who due to despair were no longer actively looking for work. According to the writer that meant that at least 75% to 80% of the country was still employed. A majority of people are still working and still buying products and services. So while things may be difficult in a particular locale, somewhere, someone is making a sale. Of course, you might be wondering where your share of that 80% of the buying public are hiding!
Well I'll tell you where they're at...They're at work -- nose to the grindstone as the old saying goes. They are basically crazy-busy! And trying to attract their attention is more difficult than ever before. And when you do, they all say they are strapped for cash. This is not entirely true - people have some money. They saved it up, squirreled away and hid it under their mattresses because they are like everyone else and are worried about how the economy will turn out.
Now that the rock has finally sank to the bottom of the pond... Oops, I mean now that things have stabilized in the economy, people were slowly poking their heads out and attempting to be returned to their normal lives.
Well, almost.If they dodged bankruptcy, foreclosures, and layoffs, they may have a decent nest egg sitting aside waiting for the right offer. But they're not going to spend that nest egg on just any old thing. They are only going to use that money on those products and services from people or companies that they feel they can trust.
It's only natural. After hard times, people are reluctant to waste their money on things they feel are unreliable or undependable. What this means for the small business community is that you must look beyond the people who come in your front door.
You must employ the power of the Internet to reach all the potential customers in your local business market. Studies have shown that as many as 70% of all buyers in the US use the Internet to perform searches when looking for products and services at the local level.
Before an overworked, prospective customer drives to your store door, they probably have spent several hours online looking for answers to their problems. They have been on your website; your competitor's website and have also investigated alternative solutions to their issues as well.
If your website didn't provide them the answers that they needed or didn't convince them that your company was trustworthy, you might never see them. This is why it seems as if they have disappeared! So while it may be difficult for you to find your customers, you want them to be able to quickly and easily find you. This is why online marketing should be at the forefront of your business growth campaign. .