Boosting your customer base can require some creative thinking.
Boosting your customer base can require some creative thinking.
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How to Attract New Customers

Whether you're operating a large delivery van fleet or running your electrical business from a single Kangoo, you'll need to ensure a steady influx of customers to keep your business thriving. Here are some tips that can work for you.

Market research

Before undertaking any marketing push, you should think very carefully about your target audience. Who are they? Where do they live? What services do they require and how much will they be prepared to pay? Careful analysis will help you get the most out of your marketing.

Small ads, local newspapers and phonebooks

People still consult small ads and telephone books for services such as deliveries, removals and other kinds of transportation. Dedicated small ads papers are less popular than they used to be, but still have a respectable circulation. Along with local newspapers, they are a relatively inexpensive and easy way to reach new customers. Print phonebooks are less well-used nowadays, but it's still worth getting your business listed in the local edition – especially if your target markets include older people.

Noticeboards

Noticeboards in supermarket, newsagents and corner-shops are very cheap to use, and can potentially reach a lot of people. You may also find noticeboards for blocks of flats, small housing estates and other communities; these can be very useful, although you'll need permission from whoever supervises the noticeboard. There may be a small cost if you're not actually a resident. Universities and student housing will also have noticeboards that you can use to promote your business.

Taking the time to create stand-out paper ads could also be worthwhile.
Taking the time to create stand-out paper ads could also be worthwhile.

Advertising online

As part of setting up your business, you should strive to maintain an up-to-date online presence. This includes a properly search-optimised website where people can learn about your services, as well as a presence on different kinds of social media platforms: from setting up a business Twitter account to a Facebook page, or putting out ads on sites like Craigslist and Gumtree.

Van signwriting

By putting your business details on the side of your van, you can reach a great many more potential customers. Done well, this essentially turns your van into a mobile advertising space. While you can buy off-the-peg number and letter transfers and apply them yourself, it's a good idea to employ a designer to develop a professional look.

Branching out

As a final note, it may be worth looking for ways to expand your services. For example, if you run delivery business, consider adding new features to transport larger or more delicate items; even extra insurance could open up a new revenue stream for very specific needs. The same goes for individual drivers running a single vehicle. If you normally offer simple light removals, you can broaden your client base by offering specialist transportation services (motorbikes, for instance, or large and delicate items such as antique furniture or pianos). You can reach more customers if you offer something that your competitors don't.