Small business owners should spend some time investigating just how visible their business is and what they can do to increase their visibility. The following are some things you would want to consider.
Advertising: How visible is your advertising to your target market? To answer this question, you first need to be able to describe your targeted customers and understand their habits. Then take a look at your advertising methods and compare that with what your customers read, watch, listen to, etc.
The right people need to see your message about your business and understand that you can meet their needs. Conducting a thorough “marketing audit” of your business can help you determine the best advertising methods to implement to be more visible to the right people.
Location: How visible is your actual physical location to your customers? One way to gauge this is by simply asking customers who do come in whether they had trouble locating the business, and if they did, why.
Another way is to really take an objective look yourself. Is your sign highly visible? How easy is it to read, not only from nearby but from the street? Are you taking advantage of traffic flow?
How attractive is your building or your portion of the building? Is there anything obstructing the view of your business and can you change that? You can also have persons unfamiliar with your business do some “mystery shopping” to see what they have to say about the visibility of your location.
Internet: How visible is your business to those searching the Internet for your product or services? Don’t just put yourself out there and hope for the best. It takes money, time and effort to increase the chances that your business will be found by the right people.
Your Web site’s ranking with the search engines is affected by things such as the domain name that you use, your use of pictures, the content of your text, your use of social media such as Facebook and Twitter, the age of your Web site and more.
You need to get professional assistance to be sure your Web site is properly designed and maintained for maximum benefit.
Also, you could have some “mystery shopping” of your Web site done to find ways to improve its visibility and effect on your bottom line. And always be sure to direct potential customers to your Web site through your other promotional methods.
Community: How visible are you and your business in your community? You can get so busy working on the everyday operation of your business that you don’t take the time to get out and do some needed networking.
Are there organizations in your community in which you should become involved? This could be a chamber of commerce or business association but not necessarily.
Are there organizations with goals that you truly care about with which you could become involved? Are they in any way related to your business? How can you make a contribution to the improvement of your community?
The above are a just a few examples of opportunities to improve the visibility of your business and increase sales revenue.
For assistance with evaluating the visibility of your business and making improvements that can improve your bottom line, find a local UGA SBDC office.
(Source: Connie Edwards, Consultant, UGA SBDC Southern Coastal)