Small business owners looking to build community and enlarge their customer base can attract a new kind of customer by telling customers to do it themselves. That’s right, adding a do-it-yourself element to your business might be just what your clients are looking for—something that will make their shopping experience at your business unique and memorable. Here are a few ideas to make that happen:
Add a class. In a recent New York Times article, small business owners shared how they made it through the recession by adding classes to their businesses. For example, a local bakery added cupcake-making classes. Not only did the classes draw a large customer base of home bakers who wanted to improve their culinary skills, but they also showcased the quality ingredients the bakery used in its products. What kind of class could you add to your business? Graphic designers could hold a website design class; a tile store could show customers how to hand-paint a tile.
Go a la carte. Sometimes customers don’t want everything your business has to offer—they want to be able to pick and choose. If you own a costume jewelry and accessory store, for example, why not set aside a section of your business to let customers put together their own creations?
Personalize. Consider the success of crafts site Etsy.com, where almost everything can be personalized. When people are looking for unique gifts or products, letting them pick a name or a phrase to go on a gift can go a long way toward making them feel like they had a hand in creating the product.
What ways can you think of to help your customers “do it themselves” and attract a whole new clientele?
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