Small Business Saturday Blog

Taking Your Business Beyond the High Street

Friday, November 10, 2017 at 10:00

It’s the dream that has driven many anentrepreneur to start their small business; owning your own shop front. A placeon the high street is a fantastic achievement, and something that any smallbusiness should take pride in – who doesn’t want a space to stamp their brandidentity on? As powerful as a personal slot in the parade of high street shopsmay be, shopping habits have moved on from simply popping down the shops, now,people don’t even have to pop out of bed to make a purchase, a few taps on asmartphone or tablet, and voila.
For small businesses seeking success, it’stime to embrace the sales opportunities beyond the perfectly dressed window –an event five minutes from your shop door might be drawing customers away, sowhy not get in on the action too? Get online and get out there, here are ourtop tips for helping grow your brand’s presence and its customer following:
Enrolfor Events
The event is a powerful thing, while yourshop may boast a great shop front, amazing products and even a tempting salesevent, a single shop can’t match the buzz and draw of an organised event like amarket or fair. These events are committed to promotion of the businesses theyshowcase, but they also promise their visitors a fantastic experience overall.And experience is something people are willing to pay for. In fact, Eventbritefound that consumers aged between 18 – 34 collectively spent over£419 million a month on experiences overthings and are readier than ever to discover the latest happenings, like SmallBusiness Saturday.
Research events in your area, many towncentres will boast their own markets on the weekend and for major citieslocal listings can help you keep up to datewith all the events that occur week to week. Food traders should get in on theboom in food markets, joining the dozens of traders that showcase at almost anygiven event and feeding the hungry bellies they find there. Seasonal markets,especially in the run up to Christmas, really amp up the atmosphere, givinglocal businesses across food, drink, music and gifts the perfect platform forthe most important shopping month of the year, stalls quickly get booked up, soprepare well in advance for this major date in your trading calendar.
Events like these also come with a sense ofexclusivity, running for a limited time only, which has a positive effect whenit comes to sales –almost half of all consumers say they havevisited apop-up in the last 12 months enticed in bytheir here-for-now nature. Every appearance is a chance to gather newcustomers, so even if your first off-site pop-up is a at the local school fair,you’re sure to make sales, hopefully gain a few return customers and, ofcourse, gain valuable learning experience for your next outing. So, armyourself with aportable payments system, a selection of yourmost eye-catching wares and instead of waiting for customers to come to you, gostraight to them!
Providing your brand with an online presenceis vital in modern times, even if your business isn’t suited to an onlinestore, you can still enjoy thebenefits of being omnichannel by having socialmedia channels that let you connect with and build your customer base.  An Instagram photo of your latest rainbowcake creation, for example, can quickly become reason for anyone who likes thesnap online to pay your physical location a visit, just look at the rise ofthe Freakshake!
If your business is a business that sellsgoods rather than services, then an online store is a must-have, as is makingit optimised for mobile visits. A recent survey found that most smallbusinesses are set to miss out on the£27 billion Brits will spend on mobileshopping this year. A lack of mobile-compatible websites, only 18% of smallbusinesses currently accommodate mobile visits to their sites, is the mainobstacle between small businesses and their online sales enjoying a boost.
Making an online store is far simpler than you think, with many apps letting you get set up for both desktop and mobile visitors in a fewclicks. Once you’re up and running, you’ll have something to point your onlinefollowers at. A Facebook post that they like can lead to the product page, canlead to a purchase. Another useful addition to your site is a blog. This iswhere you can offer great content to your customers like how-tos, previews ofnew products and behind-the-scenes glances of your business which can add areal sense of personality to your brand. These blog pages also help improveyour site’s metrics i.e. can help people find your site in the first place, andmore discovery means more potential sales!
Whether you're expanding online or into localevents, having a system in place to track all of your sales together will meanyou can spend more time selling and less time on admin. Find out more aboutSquare here: 


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