#4. "RE: Getting Store Traffic" In response to Reply # 3
I hope you have a mailing list or at least a customer list that you can work from...
Mine it... Get what do you call them... stories of their experience dealing with you and your store... let other people know about those reports.
My thoughts on advertising; Media advertising is a waste of time, effort and energy, and most especially MONEY unless you have something specific to tell people about... new products, a time-limited special, an open house, etc. We only ever do two very specific ads, one is a local newspaper welcoming newcomers to the area ad they do the end of the first week in July (everyone here in Quebec moves on July 1st -- Don't ask) and one announcing our annual open house. The rest of the advertising we do, we let others do by giving them products or services for their fundraisers, they in turn print our name in their agenda, brochure, whatever. (We've helped other people raise a lot of money over the last three years and that feels better than giving money to a newspaper editor for maybe business). The point of advertising, no matter how you get it, is to get your name on people's tongues... analogy... I did a craft show on the weekend and one fellow came up to our booth and said "Hey! Peppermaster" pointing at our sign, I saluted him and asked him if he was a customer. He said he wasn't but that he kept seeing our logo all over the place.
I don't really know how a referral program would work with a business such as yours, but I would think maybe a points program might work... Refer business, make purchases, rack up store points... Something like that.
Another thing you might do is start a podcast or a newsletter that highlights your expertise in the field... write regular articles for the local newspapers about interior design and ways to decorate... maybe a write in, "solve this decorating problem" column??? Think: exposure, exposure, exposure... People want to see your face or your logo and say "hey, aren't you..." or Hey! I know you because...".
The only other thing... tell everyone, every chance you get where you are and how to find your store. If you don't drive the traffic there, it won't go there.
Unless I missed it, you didn't mention a website... Get one... Even if it doesn't actually list prices or sell anything. You can put a printable % off coupon on your site if it drives a customer to your store -- or even sell in-store products off the site.