Friday, September 7, 2007

If You Can Beat Them Join Them!!

It's been awhile since I posted and I really don't know why cause I love doing this, maybe I'm just too busy?

Well my store is in a town that is very strict about sidewalk signs, they have to be a certain size and positioned only in front of your store by so many feet. Now this is okay if your store is on the main drag, but for those of us who are on the side streets, this can be a problem. We've tried our best to convince the town and it's police department why we need our signs up on the corner but they didn't think we had valid reasons (livelyhood isn't a good enough reason) so they took our signs away. Yup, the strong arm of the law did that. Anyway as I get older I find that getting angry is a waste of valuable energy and that energy could be better used to thinking outside the box.

So for Labor Day weekend I wanted to have a sale get customers into the store and spend zero dollars advertising it. (I'm cheap) Now I already knew I couldn't put up a sign on the sidewalk on the main drag and anyway I wasn't into causing trouble.

So the first thing I did was make up 2 big signs for my window advertising the event. Remember I'm on a side street and so the only ones that got to see it is the banking customers across the street. Next I put some ads in Craigs list and another local on-line classified ad and advertised my big sale event.

Now here is the if you can't beat them join them idea. I create two large posters using neon color poster boards. Created the wording on my computer taped it to the board. Got to my store real early and parked on the main drag on the corner and hooked those signs on to the front and back of my car. I'm pretty sure I wasn't breaking the law. The posters on my car were a bit unsightly compared to maybe a sign on the corner but hey........ So each morning I got to the store early to get the good parking spot and hooked my posters up on my car.

So what happened? Well I had a banner weekend in sales, the best I've ever done. People were coming in to the store and I would ask "how did you hear about the sale" it was always the car. I did get one customer who said they came from Craigslist and thaatwas disappointing.

Armed with my success I've now gotten the two other stores next to me to do a combined event for Columbus Day weekend. One of them is a restaurant that will have a lunch special for the weekend and my friend will hold a flea market and then myself where I'll have some closeout sale. This time we'll do a bit more and have our outside of our stores decorated with balloons and flowers. Cost to do this will be maybe $10 for each store.

The other important thing I did during this sale was get rid of stuff that was just sitting around my store for quite awhile. First off I hate seeing the same stuff day in day out. I would love to turn my products around every 90 days but I don't have that kind of traffic but I don't want the same stuff in my store for over a year. So I cleared out all this stuff at very reduced rates and I got money to buy different things. It's important for customers to see new things and that was my goal for having this big sale. It went so well I got rid of almost everything.

Take a look at your store and if you see items that have been in your store for over a year have a sale and get some of your investment back to put towards the items your customers really want. Don't become attached to it.

I'll keep you posted on how things are doing.

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