Use social media to gain a regional audience and build/interact with your customer base. Twitter and Facebook are great places to start. If you sell products, platforms like Pinterest may be useful as well.
If you’re just starting out, join local business groups and associations, or even the Chamber of Commerce. Join these groups to get word out that you’re in business. Network with other business owners; establish connections that could be useful for referrals and new business down the road.
Use pricing to your advantage. Consider using promotions, coupons, or referrals to get people in the door. Many franchisors allow their franchisees to set prices but check your franchise agreement before doing so.
Get the word out about your business. Talk with the local newspaper and/or TV station. Write press releases (or have them written) for newspapers and online PR sites. You’ll want to try and reach every person you can within your territory. Even putting up flyers or billboards can help attract new customers.
Always carry your business card; you never know when someone may start talking about a service or product you offer. Business cards are extremely useful when you’re looking to build a network of connections.