5 Local marketing MUSTS for Your Bike Shop

As a local business, you don’t have the resources to market your business like your massive, corporate competitors. But that doesn’t mean that you’re in trouble. If anything, your small size can be leveraged as an advantage over those bigger companies who have a harder time connecting to their local community. 

You’re a part of your community. It’s where you went to school, where your kids grew-up, and where you chose to set up shop. So how can you bring the personal touch to your community that a bigger company just can’t? Keep on reading, and we’ll give you some ideas.

If the phone rings, pick it up.

This seems obvious. But, did you know that 62% of phone calls to a small business go unanswered? They don’t go to voicemail either, they just ring, and ring, and ring. Only 38% of calls actually go to voicemail. 

62% of phone calls to a small business go unanswered

Even more shocking is that 70% of small businesses answer less than half of the calls they receive. Yikes! By not answering calls, and not having your voicemail system set-up, you’re showing by your phone behavior what kind of service your customers are going to get. It’s a small thing, but it’s important.

Give your customers another incentive to stay loyal with a customer loyalty program.

Have you tried The Bike Cooperative’s RideClub Rewards program?

Whether you’re implementing a new rewards program or taking it to the next level with automated customer engagement – RideClub is a flexible and powerful loyalty program made for independent bike dealers like you.

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69% of consumers say their choice of retailer is influenced by where they can earn loyalty program points/rewards. That means if you don’t already have a customer loyalty plan in place you could be missing out on a large amount of sales, as 58% of consumers also say that they buy from stores and brands whose loyalty programs they belong to at least once a month.

Put together a customer loyalty plan and promote it both online and offline. Make those who have joined feel special by sending out an exclusive newsletter that only they receive filled with special deals, early access to new products, and exclusive sales. Show your customers that you value their loyalty by rewarding it. 

Getting your company involved in the local community is key for small businesses.

By sponsoring peewee sports teams, becoming a sponsor for a charity event, using a company workday to volunteer for local nonprofits, or getting involved with your local chamber of commerce – you’ll not only be marketing your business to those in the community, but you’ll be showing them that you’re invested in your community as well. Showing those in the community that you care about them will in turn make them care about and become invested in you and your business.

Also, don’t forget to share your involvement in the community on your social media pages. Not in an overly promotional way, but in a way that shows you care about making your community a better place.

Invite the community into your workspace.

Hold mixers for local business owners to come together, have a good time, and do some networking. Offer workshops where you walk people step-by-step through a DIY project related to your business. Host a charity event in your workspace. Get locals excited about a new product launch by inviting them to a fun launch party.

Welcome the community into your workspace as guests as opposed to customers. Again, don’t forget to share pictures from the event on your social media and in your newsletter.

Connect with local non-competitors.

Find other local businesses that either complement your product or share your values and form a strategic partnership with them. For example, you’ve probably seen a restaurant partner with a brewery or distillery for a special event. But this type of strategy isn’t just for the food-service industry. Get creative – more than a few bike shops have started offering coffee and even beer to customers while they wait (and that’s just one example).

To start, simply share and comment on each other’s social media posts to help each other reach more customers (especially if you offer a complementary service). Bundle some of your services together and offer a discount for customers when they purchase a service from both of you. With a little after-hours brainstorming, you can find a number of ways to mutually grow your businesses.

You have a local advantage, use it actively 

There are so many ways to connect your business to your local community. While it can be daunting to see the reach and resources of bigger companies, their size makes it harder for them to really connect with locals on a personal level. 

You, though, have something that they will never have: a real and honest connection to the community you live and work in. Now, go out and show your community that you’re there for them. We have a good feeling that they’ll return the favor.