You probably chose your studio space for multiple reasons, but location was certainly one of them. While you’ve developed a loyal following, no small business owner is going to look a gift horse in the mouth when it comes to onboarding new clients. So it’s time to take advantage of that prime location you’re paying top dollar for, and maximize the foot traffic you’re bringing in. We’ve culled together some easy ways to make this a reality.
No surprise here: Prospective clients don’t want to enter a dingey-looking business. It’s up to you to take pride not only in the services you offer, but also in how your business is seen from the outside. Don’t skirt any maintenance issues—peeling paint, broken lights, overflowing gutters or a dirty awning are all problems that need to be dealt with as soon as they arise. Assign a staffer the daily task of sweeping your entryway and cleaning any street-facing windows and doors.
If you are lucky enough to have a storefront facing a sidewalk with lots of traffic, take advantage of it with dynamic, eye-catching window displays. Put some thought into your display ahead of time—Do you want your store to be visible in the background? What’s the focal point? What’s the color scheme? And most importantly, what’s the messaging? (There’s no better place to announce a sale than a storefront window!) Once you’ve made these decisions, get to work in creating a clean message that is in sync with both your brand and the demographic you’re trying to lure in. The goal is to capture the attention of passerby, so make sure to keep tabs on your windows—dust or sun-faded signage will be a major turnoff. Looking to do something totally different? Consider having a staffer run through a workout in the window front, during prime commuting hours to give potential clients a birds-eye-view of your workout.
LOOP IN LOCAL BUSINESSES
Take notice of the demographic of your passerby, and when the heavy traffic periods take place. (If you’re unsure, devote one weekday and one weekend day to sitting out front or near the window to make this assessment.) Is there a heavy commuting crowd between 6 and 8 am? If so, be sure your lights are on and your storefront looks awake. Is there a hot lunch spot that draws crowds mid-afternoon? Once you have a good feel for who’s out there and when they’re coming, strategize the best way to introduce your business to them. Put a sandwich board with the tagline: “Top o’ the morning worker bees! Reward yourself with a ½ off class tonight on your way home!” in the morning, or partner with the restaurant and offer coupons to the crowds in line. (Taglines could say, “Work off the best lunch in town with a free class at our studio!”)
Considering getting on board with the location-based app boom: Swarm, Four Square, Pushlocal, Shopkick, Gowalla or ThinkNear, just to name a few. Users of these apps will receive push notices of any offers or limited-time deals you’re offering anytime they’re physically within a certain distance of your storefront or receive rewards when they physically enter your studio—thus garnering you a whole new audience simply based on location. You can also opt to be a part of the app’s daily deals notifications that users receive in the morning, which are all highly successful in driving new traffic to businesses.
As we’ve told you in the past, 95 percent of millennials say friends are their most credible resource. Benefit from this by encouraging your loyal clients to check-in to your studio on Facebook or tag their location if they post a workout photo to their social feeds. Doing so is just one more way to spread the word about your business, and in return, increase foot traffic.
Nothing gets new faces in your space quite like a discount promotion. Whether you’re slashing membership package prices or running an end-of-summer sale on your retail collection, you want to spread the word in your storefront (a sandwich board will prove helpful here), via you email newsletters and on all of your social platforms. Posting printable coupons on your web site is also great way to drive in-store spending. Teasing exclusive in-store perks on your social channels is another idea, like for every $50 spent, consumers get a free water bottle, or for every $100 spent, a free class.
GET THE PARTY STARTED
Let us not forget the power of a good old fashioned event. Opening your studio up to the neighborhood with a community event, seminar or workshop is a friendly way to introduce yourself and your business to potential clients. And given that 85 percent of consumers have a higher perception of businesses that give back to a charity, it’s not a bad idea to partner with a local cause. Adding a raffle to the event will entice patrons to stay through the night, while also absorbing your studio’s offerings, ambiance and vibe.