Easy Steps to plan a year's worth of
Promotions, and promotional events, are a
terrific way to make your consignment, resale, or thrift shop stand
out from the crowd, to drive word-of-mouth, and to make money and
have fun. Here's the steps to go through.
start with a calendar that has the major holidays marked.
There's one at Holidaysmart
that you can go through month by month...it even has birthstones and
links to more information (I always wondered what Candlemas was
all about and now I know!) Now that you know, for example, that
Super Bowl Sunday is February 1, you know when to start planning for
any event or celebration you deem appropriate for your business (that
would be back in early November, but never mind, that's just an
example ;-) )
local events to your calendar. This may take some research:
when is the Mardi Gras Ball that you can market for? (You'll want to
order fancy feather masks, highlight all the sequin gowns, and so
on.) Homecoming? The Festival of the Swallows?
store events. Anniversary, seasonal clearance, whatever you
offer as a recurring event or would like to make into an annual
celebration. One shopkeeper celebrated her dachshund's birthday
every year with free hot dogs, special purchases of canine gifts,
home-baked doggie treats and adoptable animals from the shelter. The
name of the event? Hot Dog Days, of course (although I have my
suspicions that August 1st wasn't really Otto's birthday, but
rather that she needed something fun at that time of year.)
want to have some sort of event about every 6-8 weeks. If
you've run out of ideas, check your copy of 229
Promotion Ideas Especially for Resale or cruise the web
for ideas you can adapt to our industry. Remember to keep a goal
in mind: is this event designed to attract new faces? Help clear
out seasonal goods before your big sale? Introduce a new category of
merchandise or stimulate sales in a slow period? These events don't
have to be big splashy things, and they mustn't always
involve reduced prices, but they do have to be amusing, rewarding to
the participant, and newsworthy.
a budget for each event, keeping in mind your ROI.
You'll need to consider immediate return first of course, but don't
underestimate the importance of lasting returns on your shop's image
and word-of-mouthability (is that a word? It should be!)
And of course, your budget is not only monetary but effort and time
sensitive as well. Every event you do will become easier, but don't
over-reach your limits if you want a promotion that will make a
backwards to set your tasks in the right time frame. Everything
from deciding on a name, to special offers, to supplies needed and
your advertising campaign, needs to
be scheduled. Who will do what when? It's best to appoint one staffer as Lead Promo Person, so all
communications go through her/him. This should not be you,
since you'll be looking ahead to the next event at the same time
you're anticipating this one.
For worksheets to help you plan, Promote
with Pizzazz will save and make you much more money
than you have in mind!
what to do if things go awry. The T shirts don't arrive in
time: what will you use as a substitute, and where can they be
purchased? What if it rains on your Plant a Tree event on Earth Day?
What if you discover you simply don't seem to have enough end-of-season goods to hold a
Preview Party for your Preferred Customers?
up on notepads and memory chips for your digital camera, so you can record
all the details of planning for and holding your event. Take note of everything from your budget to whether there were
enough hot dogs and too much root beer (who knew no one in Yourtown
liked root beer?) so the next time you do a similar event,
it'll be easier and (probably!) less expensive.
if your event was a bust? Before deciding not to do anything like
it again, take a hard look at what might have contributed to its
failure. Were you competing against an insurmountable obstacle (the
town's biggest football game) or did you neglect to fully publicize
your event where it would motivate folks to come and to spend money?
The best face-painters and glamour photographers won't draw folks in,
if you've not managed to cut through the commercial clutter in your
potential audience's lives.
if your event was a success: Before deciding to repeat it, analyze!
Was it the face-painting that drew the crowds...or was it that the
face painter, canny artist that she is, publicized her appearance in
your shop far and wide? Then repeat, for all your future events,
whatever made this one a success!
Copyright 2013 Kate
Holmes, TGtbT.com. All rights reserved and enforced.