As local consumers cheer for the end of season and say goodbye to bumper to bumper traffic and a lack of reservation spots available at their favorite restaurants, business owners gear up for the slower summer shopping season.
Without national, multi-million dollar budgets, local business owners will need to call on more creative methods to grow business rather than closing for an entire month in August or September, known as “summer vacation.”
The last U.S. Census Bureau report shows more than 300,000 annual residents in Collier County alone, so there are plenty of consumers to connect with if you use targeted methods. Avoid the usual summer revenue drought with these four steps to drive non-seasonal business.
First, use any social media profiles or pages available to create a promotion. The easiest method is to use Facebook and Twitter to promote a discount for check-ins at the business.
For example, Coastland Center Mall vendors offer shoppers 10 to 20 percent off purchases simply for checking into the store on social media platforms including Foursquare, Facebook, GoWalla and Yelp. It creates a loyalty discount, avoids devaluing products and services and advertises the promotion to unrelated nearby mobile users.
The second way to grow business is to create consumer-focused events where shoppers set appointments for one-on-one attention with sales associates. This method is consistently used by cosmetics and clothing retailers. It can be used as a promotional method for every business if staff commits to calling loyal customers and promoting the event. Events often make the difference between making and missing sales goals.
Finally steps three and four require businesses to participate in local summer events as free advertising and develop client cards to track customers. These steps both focus managers on cultivating customer relationships and connecting with new customers.
Consumers are faced with millions of choices any given year and in order for new consumers to find you, you may need to put yourself right in front of their faces. The best way to connect with new consumers is to sponsor or participate in local events that are expecting audiences of 2,000 people or more.
Finally, tracking your client should be your business every day. Know what each and every one your customers wants and needs are and follow up with them regularly. Electronic client tracking systems are fabulously convenient, but make it mandatory for staff and management to set phone call, email and birthday reminders so clients avoid falling through the cracks.
Non-season does not mean dead business months. It simply calls on us to be smarter and more engaged business owners, because after all we owe it to our customers.
Camden Smith, owner of DREAMFly Marketing LLC, has more than eight years expertise in branding and marketing strategy and 13 years in public relations. Smith is an award-winning PR strategist and lives in Naples with her husband. Visit Smith at http://dreamflymarketing.com