How do small businesses compete with the larger box stores during the holiday season? Easy….create a “Shop Local” campaign in your community and enlist the local Chamber of Commerce and surrounding businesses to work together to help promote the positive side of shopping locally in your community! Finding a common message among businesses so that resources can be joined is a smart marketing strategy. If you are in a community that does not have a strong Chamber to help you promote the message for the entire city, consider working with the other businesses in your business complex or neighborhood. Years ago, I created a TV campaign for several businesses in the small town of Rockport, MA. These business owners knew that this coastal tourist community was not a place that locals shopped regularly so they joined their advertising dollars and did a TV campaign to reach out to the local area and get more than just the tourist traffic to shop in Rockport.
In addition to sharing in the cost of creating a TV campaign and/or video to share out via YouTube and other on-line sites, local merchants can create their own “One Stop Local Shop Event”. Much like a “Trunk Sale” or “Trade Show”, the merchants secure a location that is centrally located in their community with plenty of parking like a Hotel or Banquet Facility in which they welcome the community to one location to shop for the holidays. They each have a table or booth and share in the costs of rental space and advertisement for the one day sale event. Adding entertainment like the high school band or chorus to perform, along with refreshments, babysitting service and a gift wrapping will help to make the event a success.
Holiday sales are often what makes or breaks small businesses so do not sit quietly in your store and think that business will magically follow. Use creative ideas to reach your potential clients, price your products or services in-line with your market, and be sure that you are creating a marketing message that clearly states why your product is the perfect gift! Finally, be sure to reach out to a marketing professional or advertising agency to help guide you to create the most effective marketing campaign and secure the best rates for your advertising dollars!
All my best to your success! ~ Charlene