Pumping Up Your Client List
Q: I recently opened a women's fitness center. Even though I've been open for two months, I have hardly any members. Any ideas on how to find customers? Name withheld
A: Marketing a new business is always a challenge-unless you're lucky enough to be selling life preservers to people jumping from a sinking ship. One easy way to pique the interest of prospective customers is to offer introductory specials. Just make it clear that those specials are limited introductory offers so you're not stuck with prices or packages that don't allow you to make a decent profit once you're off and running. Bargains always capture a lot of attention, so consider advertising your offer in media that will reach potential customers.
Another idea: If there are professionals who might refer their patients or clients to you, think about how you might benefit their practices and pursue relationships that they'll perceive as advantageous to them.
A third tried-and-true technique is what we call the "Walk Around the Neighborhood." Select a target building, street, area or type of establishment where you'll find women who could benefit from your services. Then simply walk from office to office, booth to booth, or store to store, introducing yourself and leaving information. Repeat this process. By the third visit, those you meet will probably remember you.