Friday, October 17, 2014

Riding out holidays

     Free tips, information, advice, ideas, with business examples
     from personal experience--been there, done that in business.

     Two thirds of Americans are cutting back on spending right now. It's the middle of October, and we're headed into the holiday shopping season. Business people are concerned.

     Some experts believe that consumer spending in the coming holiday season will hold its own. These same experts say that the spending will come from savings, not from increases in income. More concern.

     All this means that business owners must promote twice as hard--just to stay in the same place. If you want to grow, you must do even more. 

     Example: Carlos is a chef with his own restaurant. He is doing several things to promote his operation. He regularly posts mouth-watering entrees and desserts on his Facebook page. He puts the word out that he has partnered with local farms to offer fresh, farm-to-table meals. He has arranged to have his own app so that people can order ahead and the meal is ready when they arrive. He partners with non-profit groups to hold fundraisers for them. It's a rat race, but it is working--Carlos is seeing a steady rise in his restaurant's numbers.

     Example: Fran is a certified acupuncturist. She sees more and more people looking for relief from stress, aches and pains, post-surgery concerns, and other ailments. To increase awareness, Fran brings in holistic practitioners for informational meetings, free demonstrations, question and answer sessions. This has led to more interest in acupuncture and a wider acceptance of its benefits. In addition, Fran is beginning to plan a wellness center offering several holistic treatments.

     Example: Guy runs a fitness center. During the holiday season, people tend to have other things on their minds. To counteract this, Guy is bringing in experts in other fields to stoke interest and attendance. A hypnosis practitioner is set to hold sessions on weight reduction and stopping smoking. A nutritionist will be educating people on better eating habits.

     Retail shops usually hold sales during and after the holidays. Shoppers have come to expect this, so consider doing more. Set up an open house, announce a special trunk sale, bring in a guitar player, set up seminars with experts on how to use the products/services you offer.

     So the economy is not what it should be right now. There's always light at the end of the tunnel. We'll get through this, and we'll be stronger because of it. 

     People in small business are nothing if not creative. And hard-headed. And persistent. Remember to wave as you sail through the storm.  

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