Being your own boss is the dream. And living the dream should be fun, right? One important way to build in fun is through events and as a retail store owner, you already have the venue! But when you’ve been in biz for many years, sometimes the idea mill slows down. Lucky for you, the boss ladies from my Shop Talk interviews have shared their successful events. Now I’m sharing them with you.
Events offer multiple and sometimes underestimated perks. The first is customer appreciation. There’s no better way to show customers how much you appreciate them than by spoiling them with time, exciting products, and heck, a little bit of alcohol. Second, it’s instant content for your website, blog, social media, and email. The more timely and relevant posts you have, the more often you’ll come up in your customers’ screens. Events are an opportunity to have conversations with and continue learning about your customer. And they’re fun! I probably don’t need to say how many articles and books about the importance of fun have been popping up because they seem to be everywhere. Events are fun for your customers, but you, too, can take the opportunity to enjoy yourself, which, according to all these books and articles, is key to lower stress and closer bonds with colleagues.
If you’re craving some new ideas here’s a few:
- Celebrate the start of a new season (Spring, Summer, Winter, or Fall) with a themed event. B. Boutique in Cannon Beach, OR celebrated Spring with mimosas, faux leis (a festive touch!) and a denim sale.
- Have a category sale. Instead of an end of season sale, try a sale on a category like linen dresses or sandals or books. This is a strategy that has brought a lot of people through the door at Dotter in Highland Park, CA. They come for the sale, but leave with more.
- Feature a product or service you don’t sell or offer but your customers use. Gretchen in Yakima, WA, has a Bobbi Brown makeover event every year that her customers LOVE. She invites a couple of salespeople from the local department store to set up a station in her window. They get sales from it and Gretchen’s customers are the prettier for it! Just to note: she doesn’t offer a sale in conjunction with the event.
- Throw a girls night hosted by one of your customers! Belleza Ropa in Olympia, WA loves to do this and says her customers feel spoiled to have the store all to themselves and their friends. The customer does the inviting and you stay open a couple of hours, give a perk to the hostess, and provide a light refreshment like wine and cheese. Less work for you, more fun for them!
- Host a Fundraiser for a local charity. Blue Moon in Garden Grove, CA, a philanthropic boutique, will host Sip-n-Shops with an organization she’s given to. It brings a new audience into the store in addition to her regulars.
Take a minute to share in the comments below some fun, successful events you’ve had. Let’s keep the ideas flowing!