Stop playing Hide-and-Seek: Find your customers now

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Whether you’re in startup mode or striving to making your small business a little bigger, attracting new customers can be challenging. You’re already working hard to bring your current customers the best products and services possible, so you might feel overwhelmed at the prospect of doing even more work to make your business stand out from the pack.

No worries. Here are a few not-so-time-consuming ways to put your business on the map and start finding those new customers now!

Word-of-mouth and referrals

Have you ever raved to your family or friends about that amazing dinner you had last night? Or bragged about how awesome your hairstylist is? If so, you’ve given a word-of-mouth referral. And people take recommendations from their friends and family seriously — more seriously, in fact, than any other type of recommendation, followed by online consumer reviews. The more times they hear about that great Italian restaurant down the street, the more likely they are to try it themselves.

That means the top-notch service you’re offering your existing customers likely will translate to new business. Keep it up! Despite the monumental changes in traditional marketing strategies over the past few years, referrals have retained their edge in growing business because consumers trust their friends. Bottom line? Think of every customer as your link to a vast network of other potential customers.

Besides providing quality products or services, how can you get your customers to rave about your business to their friends? Consider offering discounts or specials to customers who refer others. Successful campaigns include discounts for both the referrer and the new customer. Maybe the discount will entice them to keep the referrals flowing!

Be online, all the time

Did you know that nearly all consumers use online sources when researching businesses or services in their area? Your customers are online. Right now. So you should be, too.

That doesn’t mean you need to be chained to your desktop computer, smartphone, or tablet. It simply means you need a strong online presence that says, “Open 24/7.” It also doesn’t mean you need to be “tech-savvy.” You simply need a few tools that can help you easily get online and grow your business.

Today’s consumers expect businesses to have websites, so that should be your first step. You’ve got a number of options for creating a site, but template-based site builders like GoDaddy’s Website Builder give do-it-yourselfers a simple, inexpensive way to get a professional looking, user-friendly website online quickly.

Once you have a website, make sure it’s mobile friendly so that people searching on their phones can find your business and any relevant information they need. It’s a fact: 88 percent of consumers who search for local businesses on a mobile device call or go to that business within 24 hours. That’s a lot of business you don’t want to miss out on.

Leverage the Web’s most popular sites

Consumers also use third-party sites including search engines like Google®, review sites such as Yelp®, and social media sites like Facebook® to find businesses in their area. These popular sites serve as a sort of “business directory” where consumers — lots of consumers, like 92 percent — can search for specific products or services in a given area and browse through results. You’ve done it yourself, right?

Once your website is up and running, putting your business profile on third-party sites like these will help you capture the customers searching there — after all, the more eyes on your business, the more customers who will walk through your door.

Another handy tool, GoDaddy’s Get Found product, can help you update and manage your business profile on top sites across the Web — saving you time and money so you can focus on what you love best: your business.

Aren’t you ready to stop playing hide-n-seek with your customers and to start finding them and getting found by them? I’m counting to 20 now…

Want an easy way to get listed locally? Check out GoDaddy’s Get Found — your business information listed everywhere, all from one place.

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