Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Being Your PlACE To Go

How are you making a name for yourself? Are you a store front? Are you independent or a franchise? How do you get customers in the door?
Increasing customer count. Sound easy? Well, if you can find the trick to doing this please fill me in! I have found it difficult to reach everyone in a way where I don’t have to “give up the farm” or offer a coupon. It is easy to have the customer come in for the “free item” or the “coupon” now keep those customers as lifelong customers-it shows its difficulty. It may not be easy but there are some things that have worked.

Host an event: I had a grand re-opening that proved to be a great idea. I had so many customers in the store I couldn’t walk from one end of the store to the other. I had so many great one day deals, giveaways, and coupons that if you weren’t there, you missed out! Has it increased our customer count? Yes! It was great! It got our name out there and told the town that we are here to help. “Nobody gets a second chance at a first impression”-that was the motto at the event. I told my employees how I expected this day to go. I showed my confidence about this event and I ASKED FOR HELP! You can’t do it by yourself. You need people; you need help-ask for it.

Direct mail: I love direct mail. Why? Well, when you send mail out to your customers, you are getting your name in people’s hands. They have to at least look at it before they potentially throw it away. So make it a bright color (ie. Yellow! It nearly screams at you). Next, have an offer they can’t refuse. I have found that $5 off a $20 or $25 purchase is great! Even if you see 2% come back, they came in! Again, it may be their first time in the store so remember “Nobody gets a second chance at a first impression”. This can be expensive but there are plenty of options in marketing this way.

Make a Change: Unfortunately, it took us to move locations to get the pot to start to stir. We have had amazing increases in visibility and customer count. It has been the best thing we could have done. Now that comes with risk. We could have discovered it was the worst thing for our business, but fortunately it worked for us. Now it doesn’t have to be a move of location to start the pot stirring. Change the store. Put something out front, switch your layout, change the aisles, or start making little changes looking for people to notice a change. You won’t be sorry and neither will the customers, they will start to get excited for the next change.
Social Media: We are in that era where social media is the biggest way to reach a large audience. Just think about the internet for a minute. It is so vast that you wouldn’t even begin to think about how many options you have to reach people. Now I understand you can’t do it all! Trust me I don’t. I started by picking 2. I chose facebook and Twitter. I knew those, I used those, I understood those. That is the biggest challenge. Don’t join a social media that you don’t either use yourself or understand. It won’t work like you need it to. If you can’t choose 2 choose 1. That is ok just pick one. If you like to write like me, blog! It is actually pretty therapeutic. Facebook and twitter are nice for pictures and deals; blogging is nice for informational purposes or issues you may be having; pinterest is nice for getting clicks to your website; youtube is nice for “how-to” videos or video blogs. That is just to give you a few options. I know there are a ton of other avenues you can try! Start small and grow!

Just a few ideas to start with. Develop a plan, ask for help, and be great!

Best Wishes for a growing business!
Pellicci Ace Hardware

Happy Holidays!

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