Use the many activities associated with spring and summer to keep your business top-of-mind in the community. Become involved with established local events or partner with other business owners to create your own. An event can bring in a crowd and generate goodwill, and sometimes vendors will foot the bill. You can heavily promote sale items or you can invite neighborhood groups and to do fundraising. No matter how involved you plan to be, start planning several months in advance. If you’re trying to generate some ideas, here are a few to get you started.
- Demo fair. Product demonstration fairs targeted at contractor customers are popular ways to show them the latest tools. But your consumer customers might be just as interested in seeing how these products work. Try to incorporate vendors from as many categories throughout the store as possible, focusing on strong departments such as power tools, outdoor power equipment, outdoor lighting and housewares.
- Support community organizations. Host a local community organization that needs a place to hold a fundraiser. Open your parking lot to events like car washes for local sports teams, animal shelter adoptions and fundraisers. Opening your store up like this not only connects the store with the community, but the goodwill spills over into the store as well and gets people shopping.
- Get children involved. A great way to get parents into the store and shopping is to appeal to their children. Try hosting activities centered on showing children how to start a potted plant or help them use plaster casting to make a craft project. A successful event needs the support and energy of the people in your store. But like the children’s projects, the event doesn’t have to be complicated; rather its value comes in the excitement it generates and its ability to offer shoppers another incentive to come into the store and then stay for a while.