Labor Day honors hard working Americans. It also offers small business owners a chance to see their hard work pay off by generating immediate sales and getting a jump on the holiday shopping season.
While the summer months can be slow in terms of traffic and revenue, the resulting downtime allows you to focus on preparing your operations and marketing strategies to take advantage of Labor Day’s back-to-school, back-to-work, and back-to-shopping mindset. Here are some last-minute tips for capitalizing on this golden business-building opportunity.
Say Goodbye to Summer
Consumers and business customers typically look for big bargains at the end of the summer, while businesses are looking to clear their inventory to make way for fall. Bid the season goodbye with a clearance event, sidewalk sale, or deep discounts on “last call” merchandise. Offer business customers special pricing or terms on remaining summer stock.
In today’s on-demand world, consumers expect everything to be readily available, especially items that are being promoted during the holiday weekend. Businesses that don’t have enough stock on hand may miss out on sales opportunities or, worse, drive customers to a competitor. Make a last-minute check of your inventory to ensure you are well prepared.
Partner with neighboring businesses to cross-promote specific products and services. Distribute coupons with discounts from each business. Create a promotion that invites customers to visit a number of businesses to be eligible for a prize drawing. Show your joint commitment to your community through sponsorships or by donating a percentage of sales to local non-profits. Use social media to offer a special code that will give customers an extra discount or a freebie if they purchase a product or service from more than one business. Enlist fellow business owners in using a shared hashtag to promote your Labor Day specials across a variety of platforms.
Target Returning Customers
Labor Day is a great time to welcome back customers after the summer. Make use of your email list to offer incentives to returning customers. Send an email newsletter to subscribers and previous customers with useful information as well as special deals that highlight a range of products. Offer perks like free shipping or “limited time” discounts on popular goods or services. If you have a customer loyalty program, this is a great time to encourage additional purchases. Don’t forget to use social media to promote deals on select products or services. Facebook and Instagram allow you to target your posts to specific audiences.
Go Old School
Now that people are back from vacation, it’s the perfect time to reach out to customers through traditional direct mail. Printed postcards, catalogs, and coupon books are making a comeback, and they are ideal for marketing early bird offers or launching a promotion that will run through the holiday season. In addition to targeting customers with relevant offers, direct mail pieces can be customized to include names and other personal information. This personalized touch means that customers are more likely to read your message and follow through with a purchase.
Kick Off Fall
Labor Day marks the unofficial beginning of autumn, with students going back to school, football season starting, and cooler weather on the horizon. Tap into this shift in seasons by introducing new product lines or services at prices that will appeal to fall-minded shoppers. Inject fall themes into your Labor Day marketing, online store, or website. Host a drawing for school supplies, sports gear, or local game tickets. If you are a restaurant owner, create specially priced autumn-inspired menu items or cocktails to entice customers to try something new.
Get a Holiday Head Start
For many Americans, back to school also means getting started on their holiday shopping. According to the National Retail Federation, last year 41 percent of shoppers started making holiday gift purchases in October or earlier. Small business owners can take advantage of this trend by increasing their inventory now and promoting “early bird” holiday sales. Experts also advise hiring seasonal workers in August in order to get the pick of the best applicants.
Have Working Capital on Hand
Small business owners need to have sufficient working capital to make the most of Labor Day’s potential to boost sales and generate new business opportunities. Just as you can’t afford to sit back and wait for customers to find you over the long weekend, you need to be proactive when it comes to ensuring you have the funds to successfully implement your marketing plans.
Summit Financial Resources offers working capital loans for small to medium-sized businesses that involve using your accounts receivable and other assets as collateral. We can mix and match from a variety of product options to suit your needs, including invoice factoring, asset-based lending, inventory lending, and equipment financing. Working capital loans can be used for any business expense, giving you and your business the financial resources to leverage every opportunity to grow.
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Summit Financial Resources specializes in working capital financing for small to medium-sized businesses that need increased cash flow. We provide working capital financing through invoice factoring, asset-based lending, inventory lending, and equipment financing.