Top tips to grow your Bedford business post-COVID

Shop retail sales
Bedford businesses need to make the most of marketing opportunities available to them. Image: Robert Kneschke/

Lockdown is over, but the financial impact of COVID on businesses of all sizes is still being felt across Bedford. So, it’s vital you do all you can to get your business back on track.

Of course, loyal customers will already be visiting your business and making the most of everything you have to offer, but how can you encourage them to visit more and reach those occasional and new customers too?

Here are our top tips:

  1. Special offers

    Throughout COVID some businesses offered incentives to stay loyal, don’t forget this loyalty. If you’ve captured their contact details, get back in touch with those who supported you through the pandemic with a special offer.

    Maybe 10% off any purchase if you’re in retail or a free drink if you’re a restaurant or bar, will see them visiting and hopefully buying more.

  2. Advertise

    This is a bit of a no brainer, but make sure you choose where you advertise properly. Yes, social media targeted ads are easy, but recent studies show the targeting isn’t as good as the channels would have you believe.

    Instead, think about where your customers might be and advertise there. Local news websites are a great place to reach new customers and ads are trackable so you can see how well they work for you.

  3. Events

    Hosting an event that adds something extra to your customers is another great way to draw people in when they might not normally make the effort.

    Retailers could hold a ‘Meet the Maker’ afternoon to showcase some of their products, bars and restaurants could host live music or comedy sessions (if you don’t already do this) or hold theme nights for different foods and drinks on your menu.

  4. Shout about it

    Yes, you post on your social channels but organic reach is increasingly difficult and you are most likely only speaking to people who already know about what you do.

    To reach wider audiences, make sure local media know about what you’re doing too. Send them a media release so they can write about you or your event. Make sure it really is newsworthy though as editors will only use it if it really stands out.

    If you want to make sure your news is guaranteed to be covered, you could ask local media about advertorial opportunities.

  5. Partner with others

    Getting together with other businesses nearby can help you both create something interesting and unique for both your customers.

    If you’re in retail, you could create packages, like a bottle of wine from a local off licence with certain purchases, or a bar could join forces with a local restaurant to offer food on quiet nights of the week.

    With the variety of businesses in Bedford, you’re only limited by your imagination.

When all is said and done, you have to let people know what you’re doing and why you’re the business they should spend their money with.

The squeaky door gets the grease, so make sure you tell people as often as you can in as many places as possible or you will lose out to competitors.

For further advice and details about marketing solutions from the Bedford Independent that are best for your business objectives and budget, drop us a line for a friendly no-obligation chat.