Yet a hardware store here in Madison boosted their customer base this year during tough economic times by using… flowers.
This hardware store has been on the corner of one of the busiest streets in Madison since 1945.
Yet, as it turns out, a lot of local people didn’t know the store was there, even though they vroom past it every day in their cars.
That’s partially because the hardware store’s customer base has gradually shifted from residential to commercial over the years.
When the recession started giving the hardware store a kick in the teeth this past year, the owner decided he couldn’t rely solely on his commercial customers anymore. He started brainstorming ways to lure in residential customers too.
On a whim he put plants and flowers for sale outside his store last spring, making sure they were close enough to the busy street to attract attention.
People driving by would do a double take and go around the block, park, and check out his store.
Inevitably they would buy some of the flowers along with whatever hardware stuff they suddenly realized they needed.
All it took was some flowers to get their attention.
He has also started delivery services to management companies as a way to better serve his bread and butter customer base.
So he’s not dropping the ball on taking care of his long term customers as the shiny new customers come in.
“La-di-frickin’-da, what does this have to do with MY business?” you might be asking.
Well, this hardware store owner says, “I am going out on the road and just trying to gather more business instead of sitting here and letting it come to me.”
So what can you do to stop waiting for business to come to you?
Even if you’ve been in business a long time with established clientele, it’s possible you’ve been invisible to a big group of potential customers who are vrooming right past you each day.
What can you do to start reaching them?
And how can you step up your game in serving your current customers?
The best way I know of to both rake in new customers AND take better care of your current customers is email.
Start sending email more regularly to your list.
To get the job done right, and consistently, hire a copywriter to write the emails for you (hint, hint).
I have more deets on my copywriting services and the best types of emails for new customers and long term customers here.