Summer in Florida means heat, and lots of it. But for many local businesses, summer equates to a cool-down in sales. It doesn’t have to be that way, says Barry Rubin, president of the Gulfport Area Chamber of Commerce and owner of Time Systems tech company. For creative entrepreneurs, “profits rise alongside the thermostat,” he says. “These techniques — not new, but often forgotten — are sure to make a positive impact on your bottom line and assure you a summer to remember.”
Slather on the sunscreen
Apply liberally. The same is true for summer marketing. Now is the time to perform an analysis of your customers. Who are they, by product, by recapitulation and by margin? Now you are ready to attract the attention of your best, most loyal and highest revenue customers. Arrange a call or a meeting with the best of the best, not to sell, but to learn how you can best serve them in the future. This is also an excellent time to ask for referrals. After you get those referrals make sure to give an update on how it’s going. Pay attention to the people who send you business, and they’ll send you more.
A day at the beach
Summer is the perfect time to host a mixer, a social or any other type of get-together for clients and potential clients to socialize, meet staff and learn about new products and services your company offers. Make sure to include local vendors who often partner in the expense, but more importantly serve as your biggest cheerleader. After all, your success is theirs as well. While we’re on partnerships, don’t rule out working with other businesses in co-operative marketing campaigns, especially those who offer a product or service complementary to yours. Shared costs make programs and advertising that at one time seemed out of reach an attainable reality.
Have a slice of apple pie
Apples are great, but apple pie is better. That’s an example of what happens when you mix great stuff together. Summer is the perfect time for that mix in the form of cross-selling. Enticing customers with goods or services related to what they already buy. If your company sells swimwear, contact every bathing suit customer about your new line of flip flops. This proactive approach will create opportunities to increase sales and build customer loyalty. Take advantage of the summer by giving away promotional seasonal items. Logo T-shirts, bottles of sunscreen and beach balls are a great low-cost, feel-good premium for making a purchase, or simply stopping in.
Blast away! E-mail marketing has become the standard in mass marketing, and when done correctly, is an extremely powerful and effective marketing technique. It’s important to stay compliant with all CAN-SPAM laws: only use e-mail addresses of customers who have agreed to get e-mails and offer an opportunity to opt-out of future e-mails. Other forms of social media are also good options, depending on your campaign goals. Remember to include links back to products pages on your website, fan pages on social media and information about your business location and hours.
Barry Rubin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his website, floridatimesystems.com.
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