7 Top Tips to Market a Cafe (or any small business!)

This week I was asked to deliver a presentation at the Harrogate Chamber of Trade and Commerce.  I spoke about a number of topics but one of these was marketing and with my own experience I had to approach it in terms of how to market a cafe.

I went into marketing Baltzersen’s and Norse with no experience, just some ideas I thought up from some online learning resources along the way and the aim of making a bit of impact.

What I Believe

I believe in telling and showing the story of my business and how it has evolved on a day-to-day basis via our website and social media or in the wider printed/electronic media.

I believe in engaging with my customers, colleagues and peers online.

I invest in marketing my business be that via my time, with dedicated staff resources or in partnership with other companies that enable this.

7 Tips to Market a Cafe (or any small business)

So here is a brief description of each element in my list of 7 tops tips to market a cafe (or any small business):

Innovate is written across a photo of a waffle from Baltzersen's in Harrogate

Try something new.  It doesn’t have to be completely original, it can just be new to your industry or even just new amongst your industry in Harrogate.  An example from Baltzersen’s is use of professional video to tell a story.  If you can’t afford a professional video then do it yourself!

A photo of a Baltzersen's cinnamon bun with the word 'Be Disruptive' written across.

Do something that challenges the norm in your industry and perhaps turns things on their head.  An example from Baltzersen’s was our ‘Loyalty Card Amnesty’ scheme.

Be Subtle is one of the tops tips on how to market a cafe.

 It doesn’t have to be all about sales all the time.  The Baltzersen’s General Election offer caught attention by addressing the issue of the day and was widely shared and discussed on social media locally.  We were just giving away a free hot drink and a biscuit to anyone that voted.

Election Ad

Be Human

Social media is about engaging with your customers.   Use humour, controversy (within reason), the news and anything else to get people talking and speak to them on the channels they wish to use.


Get together with other businesses and promote one another – it’s better to have a smaller piece of a bigger pie.  We created the Harrogate Independent Coffee Map with Bean and Bud and LMDC.  We have created various ‘Local’s Guides’ to Harrogate including coffee, mens fashion, pubs, restaurants and more.

Be Consistent

The most difficult element for most small businesses to maintain consistency in all their materials and also in terms of regularity of posting and creating content.  It’s something to be aware of and strive to do the best you can with the resources you have.

A list of marketing tips on top of a photo of a blackberry cream cake.

If you have comments on what I have written or would like some more detailed information you can write a comment below and I’ll be sure to respond…..


Marketing is one of those challenges that every small business must approach at some point in their existence.  If you can learn to love it then there is an infinite number of possibilities of how to spread the good word.  There has been an inordinate amount of text written on the subject, here’s some of the resources I personally recommend:

Jab Jab Jab Right Hook – Gary Vaynerchuk (Book – Social Media)

#AskGaryVee (Youtube – wide range of business topics)

Small Business Big Marketing – Tim Reid (Podcast – Marketing for small businesses)

Amy Porterfield (Blog and Podcast – Facebook and other social media platforms)

Orbit Media – Gary Crestodino (Blog – Design and Blogging)


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