How to make it on the high street as a small business in 2019

Between the wobble that House of Fraser has had this year, to the closures of giants like Woolworths and Toys’r’Us, the high street has been struggling to stay afloat for years now. But it’s not all doom and gloom! The high street is a pillar running through so many communities in Britain, and with support and a bit of occasional graft, it’s here to stay.

How do you make sure that your small business can make it on the high street in 2019? We’ve looked at how the small businesses we work with are working hard to make sure their local economy and community is thriving. Here’s what the Swipii team learned…

 

High street businesses can sponsor local football teams

High street businesses can sponsor local football teams

 

Engage with and support the local community

As a small business, you are often reliant on the support of the local community to keep coming through your door, buying your goods and using your services. 

So why not engage with them, and support causes in your local area too? 

There are loads of way you can do this to try and engage new customers and build a stronger rapport with your regulars. 

  • You could sponsor a local event (like a gala day)
  • You could sponsor a local sports team
  • You could get involved with local charities, doing a litter-pick or something like that
  • If you are able, you could offer your business up as a venue for local events- even shops can be the location for local meetings or groups

 

Develop meaningful relationships with customers

It’s important, throughout all of the suggestions here, to get to know the community, what they want and what they spend their money on. So how do you develop meaningful relationships with shoppers visiting the high street in your local area? 

First of all, it’s important to just chat to people! When folk are visiting your shop, it’s nice to be nice. Learn more about them and their communities. 

Events will help! You can always think about the points we’ve made already and build relationships when you work with charities or attend local events. 

Lastly, you should also make sure you are using the tools you have available to you, e.g. social media to engage with your customers and let them know about your latest news, deals and offers.

 

High street businesses can build rapport with customers at the till

High street businesses can build rapport with customers at the till

 

Take some inspiration from the big boys, like Primark

It may seem a bit strange, but Primark is a hugely successful brand who are situated on high streets up and down the country. Take a leaf out of their book!

For starters, you don’t need to discount everything in order to get people coming through your door, just start at a fair price. You don’t see many sales in Primark, because they know they’re already giving people good value. Make your prices fair, and you won’t need to keep having drastic sales to convince people to buy your stuff. 

You can also have a look at making your store easier to navigate and simple to shop in. Literally, make sure there are low barriers to entry. Make it easier for the folks in your community to pop in, find what they need and get on with their day. Simplicity sells. 

Feeling pressure to start selling online? Don’t worry, you don’t need to! 

We do recommend getting yourself an amazing online presence, get listed where you can and use social media to its full potential. But being a bricks-and-mortar business is something to be proud of! Use the internet to make it easier for people to find your store and get in to spend with you. 

 

Learn to embrace, not shun, technology

Speaking of getting your business on the internet, although you don’t need to take your sales online, make sure you are using all of the tools and technology that you feel comfortable with.

Get your business listed on TripAdvisor, Yelp and more. Set up a Google My Business account to make your business more visible on the search engine. 

Set up social media accounts on as many platforms as you can handle and engage with your customers. 

Use email marketing to stay in touch with all of your customers quickly and easily. 

Find out if there are management tools which could make your life easier, like QuickBooks. 

And finally, your customers are going digital! So you should consider taking your loyalty program digital too.

 

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One tool you can use to help move forward with the times and increase your customer retention is, of course, the Swipii app! You can get your business listed on the Swipii app with a customer loyalty program for free today. You can even sign up for free in just a few minutes. To find out more about our other features including private ratings and feedback, just ask us a question using the Live Chat on your right. 

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