Is Your 20th Century Business Failing in the 21st Century?
Apply a Smart Fix.
Businesses like movie theaters, hardware stores, candy shops and other downtown type businesses can have real problems doing business in the 21st e-business world. Here’s the fix, offer people reasons to come to you that you don’t offer now.
Today, people want more than goods. They want a destination that teaches, entertains, offers what you sell, and is a fun place to be and to hang out with others who enjoy being there too. Sound like a tall order? Sound impossible? It’s not. It’s easy.
Here are some of the tools you can start using today, well okay maybe by the end of the week or next month, but certainly in the near future. The very near future. Here’s where we are coming from:
Give people what they want,
and they will give you what you want.
Some Things You Can Do
Offer free WiFi
Make a space for some tables and chairs where your customers can sit and visit while they watch videos related to what you sell.
Bring in local jobbers and other knowledgeable people to do free, short, informative lectures that you then place on your YouTube channel. This has many benefits:
- it makes you a helpful destination, a place to gain knowledge and the tools and goods necessary to get something done,
- you have a serious social media presence, which you can then promote on Twitter to your followers, and on your company Website.
- it generates that all important buzz
- it offers the possibility of partnering with other businesses
Place a large screen television on the wall. There you constantly run videos and advertisements that promote your products. Do this near your main entrance and in the area where you do lectures.
Are You A Hardware Store?
If you’re a hardware store have one of your customers: a plumber, carpenter, electrician, do free of charge lectures – that you video and place on YouTube of course. These lectures feature your goods. In fact, the props come right off your shelves. These are not complex lectures that take a lot of equipment, tools, and time. No. Short lectures doing things homeowners can reasonably be expected to be able to do.
Are You A Movie Theater?
Your customers don’t need to go out to see a movie. There are Netflix, Hulu, and television if that is all they want. But the good news is that is not all that they want. So, offer a place to hang out before the picture starts. Everyone is there for to see the same thing. Use that similarity to your advantage. If you have an outside that is comfortable use it. Advertise this as the before the movie party. People love to get together. Use that human need to your advantage and watch your sales at the snack bar go through the roof as you sell more movie tickets. Don’t forget, to at least consider, the after movie get together.
Are You a Restaurant in a Failing Area of Town?
People have been going out to eat for thousands of years. So why aren’t they coming to your place? Lots of reasons. What to do is the question.
- Make your restaurant a pleasant place to wait to be seated with WiFi
- Get a local comedian to do a continuous show for those in line
- Offer “free coffee while you wait”
- Give the premises an affordable upgrade to make it more inviting, pick your slowest day or night and offer specials
- Offer videos on YouTube on how to pick fresh vegetables, fruit, meat, pots, pans, kitchen tools, you name it, become a resource to your clients.
- Use social media.
- Put your menu on your Website.
Whenever possible partner with other local businesses for mutual advantage.
In our town, there’s a laundromat, car dealer, and breakfast restaurant within a few feet of each other. They could put on a car show to drum up business. While there, people could look at the cars on display and those for sale on the lot. They could have breakfast or lunch, and visit the laundromat to do laundry. Just up the street, there are restaurants and antique shops. The area is rife with opportunity, yet they do nothing. Should I suggest it?
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