The challenge of getting new customers when you run a small business

As a small business owner, you have the challenge of managing the day-to-day operations of your business, your employees, making sure your product/service delivers, the list goes on. Add to that the time and effort needed to attract customers. A simple ad in the local paper is no longer sufficient. Reaching new customers now requires a new approach, integrated with technology.

How do you take advantage of technology to help you connect with new customers? 

Your efforts using technology to promote your business should ultimately focus on the customer experience. Research has proven that customers will spend wherever they get the best experience – even buying from a small business over a big business. 

How to you do this? Get them involved, interact, make them a part of what you do. This first begins with you having a presence where your customers spend their time.


1. Website

How up-to-date is your website? Is it mobile friendly? Is it easy to navigate – find information quickly and easily? 

Approximately 50% of searches on the web are from mobile devices.1That statistic is only going to keep rising. For some industries, that number is already over 60% with their users spending more time on the company website. “Being mobile friendly is important in all industries–it’s the largest source of traffic in nearly all of them.”2

If your website is not mobile-friendly, then that is the first item on your list to update. Rework your content so that it is easy to read – keep in mind many are reading using their phones. Keep the lengthy descriptions to a minimum. Make it really easy for customers to find information. And optimize for locations to make it easy for customers to find your physical location.


2. Content

How static is the content on your website? Do you update it regularly?

With all the distractions in the world, it is very hard to get the attention of a customer. Once you do, you don’t want it to evaporate due to old/expired content. 

While there are pages on every website with content that does not need to be updated often – contact us, about your company, there are pages that require updates on a regular basis – new product/services, announcements, events. Come up with a plan to make sure the information on your website is updated so your customers can easily find what they are looking for. Also consider writing a blog, share industry information, product or service tips, all to further engage with your customers.


3. Email

Are you using email to communicate? 

It has never been easier to reach a customer than it is now with email. The hard part is making it worthwhile for them to read the email. There are inexpensive tools available to store your list and automate email delivery. And the best part is having data to know how many received and opened your email.

The content for your emails could include listing of events, new product enhancements, product/service tips, special promotions and so on. Be consistent with your delivery schedule. And continuously provide value will increase the likelihood of your emails being read.


4. Social

How active are you on social? Do you know which social channels most of your customers use?

Whether your customers are on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or some other social media site, pick one and do that really well before increasing your activity on others. As with email, there are low cost, easy to use tools to help you with scheduling and tracking your posts.

Include photos or videos with your posts to increase interest. Post announcements, information about your product or services, or use it to promote something new. Be prepared to check the activity regularly as these are often used as a way for customers to communicate with you – whether that is a simple comment, a Like, or needing help in a customer service manner. Pay attention and respond in a timely fashion.


5. Search

If a customer were to look for you on Google, would you appear on the first page of search?

There are numerous blogs and videos to help you understand how to get a better listing on search. For Google, this will include having a website that is easily accessible with a mobile device.

Think about the words that are most often associated with your business, product and service. These are your keywords. Sometimes they consist of a single word, others may be a phrase. Include these in the content of your website – titles, descriptions, blogs, and see your SERP move up the ladder.


6. Data Analytics

If someone told you they could automate some of the effort necessary to reach customers, would you be interested?

There are many inexpensive tools that you can use to ease your customer-reaching efforts. The beauty of using such tools is automation. Scheduling emails or social posts ahead of time and having access to the data to show how well they performed help you make the most of your valuable time.

As with anything, there is so much more information related to each of these topics. This list is designed to help get you started to having a presence online and making the most of it, with the goal of reaching and engaging new customers.

Need help, send an email to:





2)    Perficient/digital



Never Underestimate the Importance of Website Usability

It is easy to get caught up on the look and feel of your new website design. Big, bold images and fun icons, with words written to emphasize the awesomeness of what you have to offer. Best website EVER.

However, if you were to test it, would it be easy to use, and easy to navigate? If you didn’t know anything about your company or product, would you get a good first impression from your home page?

55% of visitors spend fewer than 15 second on your website. And as many as one in three visitors will leave your site after their very first visit.

Now that you have them, how do you keep visitors on your website?


What is Usability as it relates to website design?

Making sure that visitors can easily navigate your site, understand what you have to offer, and it loads easily no matter the platform.

From Great Web Design Tips, here are the most common reasons why new visitors to a site leave without exploring the site further:

  1. The visitor doesn't understand what the site is about, or simply decides that it doesn't have what they were looking for;

  2. The home page takes too long to download, and they give up waiting;

  3. The visitor doesn't find what the link to your site promised; and

  4. Your site requires an plug-in, such as Flash, to use, and they don't have, or dislike, that plugin.

Since that first impression is critical, make sure your website loads quickly and easily. Your website should:

-       Load within 3 seconds or else you risk losing them, possibly to a competitor

-       Be responsive – more and more people are researching and shopping via mobile. Make it easy for them to see what you have to offer.

-       Be well-organized, simple, and a clean design, free from clutter. No one wants to spend time staring at a page trying to figure out where they need to go to get the information they are looking for. Besides, simpler designs are scientifically proven to be more appealing to buyers. If visitors can’t find it easily, they will leave.

-       Quickly and clearly community who you are and what you have to offer – your main message - using words and phrases that are common among your industry. Words and phrases familiar to your visitors.  

-       Provide simple navigation. To many menu items, and dropdowns makes it confusing and hard to figure out where to go. If you have a number of items to navigate, look to use Group Items, then use Hidden menus to provide additional navigation. Make it easy for visitors to know where they are through page headers or breadcrumbs. For every page, a primary course of action needs to be clear and obvious using CTA’s to help guide your visitor.

-       Use forms that are smart. Using smart forms enables you to incrementally capture the details per contact that you are interested for each time they visit and interact with your site. Plus, asking a few simple questions each time, rather than 25 the first time, will increase the success rate of your submissions.

Attention to a few simple details, will make your website easy to understand and easy to navigate, increasing the time a visitors stays on your site. Good for you, good for your prospective customer. To see how user friendly your website is, check out this blog from Hallam, “How to perform a fast Usability Check on your website”.