You can take the chill off your Cape Cod off-season business by actively pursuing new ideas that will help your bottom line all through the winter. Here are five strategies that you should warm up to.
Reach out to loyal customers. These folks are your most receptive audience because they know and like your products. Send them emails, mailings, and other communications with special offers that will pique their interest.
Build relationships with local media. Regularly contact local newspapers and online “Wicked Local” type resources with newsworthy notices – such as your expansion plans, employee anniversaries and promotions, retirements, events, your charitable participation, local involvement, etc. This is free publicity that creates awareness and presents the human side of your business that will resonate with potential customers.
Survey foot traffic. When things are crazy-busy during the summer you don’t have time for lengthy chats with visitors to your location. However, the off-season is a great time to use your customers as a sounding board – what do they like, don’t like about your layout, and what product lines would they like to see you offer? At the same time, use these conversations to collect invaluable email addresses for future communications.
Create rewards and customer referral programs. In addition to offering sales of discontinued or out-of-season items you might introduce a winter season rewards program – buy a certain amount, get one free or at a discount, for example. Additionally, consider offering a “percentage off” discount to customers who refer your business to their family or friends.
Look inward. Your slow time is a great time to reflect on what you did or did not do right last summer. How effective was your product placement, was foot traffic too congested, do you need to brighten up some areas with fresh paint? The list can be as short or as long as your budget will allow. But now’s the perfect time to be proactive with improvements.
Remember, being active is not only a great way to stay warm when the weather outside is frightful; it’s also a very positive way to build your business.