How to build a customer base locally

by Zena Ugolini

Our top tip this week is all about building a local customer base.

The best way to do this is by getting yourself and your business out there. Spend a little time researching for up and coming events in your area. These can be local craft fairs, music events or even carboots.

If it is a fair or an event, make sure you contact the organiser first and work out an arrangement with them. Carboots, you generally just turn up on the day and pitch up your area.

What should you take with you?


ALWAYS bring petty cash with you. While most people pay by card now, for such occasions like these many people will expect to pay using cash, so make sure you have enough change to accept their payment.

If you have a card machine, then of course use it. Some people may still be uneasy tapping their card details to a complete stranger, so make sure you are transparent and ready for any questions, help put their minds at ease. 


This is essentially your portfolio, so bring all of your brands best bits. This can range from your best sellers, some unique to you products and anything new you are introducing.

Best Sellers. Emphasise them with a small customer review next to them. While you can tell potential customers, many people love a visual, so use any positive feedback you already have for these products. 

Unique products. Especially if you are at a craft fair, take advantage of the fact that people are looking for something they may not find in the shops. Bring products with you that will really help you stand out from the crowd.

New products. Reward any customers who approach your stall by showing them something that is not quite available yet, excitably inform them of how you wanted to make the new products exclusive to that event until they "officially" launch on your online shop.

Leaflets and business cards

Always, always bring something you can hand over to your new customers, where they can discover you online.

Leaflets are a great way of successfully doing this. You can make it look professional and classy while showcasing more of what your brand is about, while providing all of the information someone would need to easily find you.

Always include your website address, as well as any social media handles you have.

As an added bonus, attach a freebie product to the leaflet, this will encourage people to keep hold of it, or simply make it harder for it to be misplaced. A great freebie could be a few small wax melts in a small organsa bag. Staple this to the leaflet.

Business cards are great for providing contact information. they will also help your brand look serious and professional.


This is usually an overlooked aspect, but brand your bags that your customers are taking their purchases away in.

The easiest way to do this is with paper bags. Simply add a sticker or stamp it with your logo on it. People nowadays are more inclined to accept a paper bag than plastic. And as they are very likely going to continue walking around the other stalls, you've just got yourself a bit of free advertising.

In Summary

Remember that one of the most successful selling tools is word of mouth, so building up your local customer base will prove to do wonders for your brand. 

You want people talking about you, and if you are a local business to their area, there is also a sense of pride they will hold over you. Use this and watch your brand bloom!



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