Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Percent off

     Free daily tips, information and advice for people in small business
     from personal experience--been there, done that--in my own small businesses as well as helping
     thousands of others over a lifetime.

     Retail shops commonly offer sales. A sale attracts attention and brings in customers.

     Two very different methods are used. "Dollars off" and "percent off" types of promotions can get new people to notice your business, and they remind existing customers who you are.

     Example: The owner of a small retail shop decided to put everything (with few exceptions) on sale at 20% off the marked prices. The shop specialized in women's fashionable clothing and accessories. The sale did not go as well as the owner had expected, and I was asked for advice. I suggested a different method--put the word out that certain items were marked down set dollar amounts, $10, $20 or as much as $50 off on selected items. This time the sale went much better.

     Sometimes, it is better to offer real dollars off as opposed to percentages off. Both work, but a set dollar amount off has an immediate psychological effect in customers' minds.

     Example: A small auto repair shop I know uses both methods in tandem. The owner here uses coupons. Side by side, coupons offer $10 off an oil change and 10% off other auto services. Coupons are available in print (ads, flyers, post cards) and on the Internet (social media, emails, website). The $10 off coupon brings people to the shop, and the 10% brings them back again.

     It's all about the perception created in the minds of current and potential customers. It's hard to ignore that $10 bill you find laying on the sidewalk--you bend over and pick it up. Not so with percent off. 

     The next time you consider having a sale at your business, try the "dollars off" type of promotion. And don't ignore the value of coupons with a "dollars off" value--they get used or they get passed around to other people.

     Still active after a lifetime founding and growing businesses, and helping others. Email me your questions and I provide free answers from my experience working with thousands of small businesses. Send to AlWarr16@gmail.com and put BLOG in the subject line so I don't delete. Your privacy is always respected.  

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