Grassroots Marketing Gypsy

grassroots-marketingGrowing up in my household, there was always something to be done when it come to the family business.  I was always hitting the pavement, at the age of 10, with my mom, the Ultimate Business Gypsy, and marketing her small dried floral arrangement business.  We would do everything possible to get the word out about her flowering business (No pun intended!).  There is a huge difference though, between now and then.  When I was younger, the internet was practically non-existent.

With internet being so prevalent in our lives today, I couldn’t help but think, maybe it is failing our small businesses in a huge way.  What is the reason for loss of revenue and lack of consumers?  I may have the answer.  The personal touch is gone.  There is hardly any face-to-face interaction anymore.  Everything is electronic, cold and detached.  Why has the internet changed our businesses into cold Business Bots?  So, in order to stop the spread of the revenue lacking Business Bots, I am going to refresh everyone’s memory on how to effectively market your small business…the traditional, grassroots way!

Hit the Pavement

Word of Mouth is a huge factor in small business success.  I cannot tell you how many times I have heard of a good restaurant or salon while eating at my favorite local breakfast joint.  I have seen businesses fail within 6 months due to the fact that the Word of Mouth was not there.  So, hit the pavement!  Bring a stack of business cards or larger business post cards and place them on the local bulletin boards.  Walk from business to business and introduce yourself as a local business owner and offer 10% off to their employees.  Face to face interaction makes business relationships last!

Small Businesses Unite!

Once making that connection with other local business owners, visit them again and propose you do a joint marketing venture together.  It will bring in new consumers for your new local business and will help that existing business branch out its marketing net.  Why stop at just 2 businesses?  Create a Business Crawl, which offers 10-20% off your store and all the other stores participating in it!  Help your business and your community in the process!

Consumers are People, Too

If you see a person as a statistic for your business, a customer for your store, or a patron in your restaurant…you are going to fail.  I cannot stand it when I walk into a store and I am treated like another lousy customer that they have to wait on because they don’t feel like working. So, treat others the way you want to be treated!  Treat your consumer like a person.  People like to be respected and if you do not respect someone, they will not respect you enough to use your services or come back as a returning customer.  So ask questions, offer a beverage and always smile.  A smile can go a long way.

Times are tough in the small business world and we need to look back on how things were, to get inspiration on how to deal with things now.