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Promoting Your Business

Promoting Instead of Advertising Your Business

Have you had the occasion to have someone ask for a donation from your business. If you are like most dealers, this is an interruption and inconvenience. What if we could make this into an opportunity to bring in a new customer?

Too often the retailer does not decide he is going to advertise until the sales representative from the newspaper, radio or television station calls on them. Then, and only then, he develops a budget and lastly will decide what products or services to advertise.

And as many of us experience, the final step is our wondering why the dollars we spent advertising did not drive any new customers into our store. Whether you are the store that falls into this scenario, or are the business that does not have enough gross sales to be able to afford advertising, there are several other things you can do to drive the customers to you.

Within your community, there are a number of organizations that may cover the range from hospital auxiliary to Boy Scouts to Rotary club. And with each of these groups you will find a membership that will welcome your business as a supporter with open arms. And more importantly, a membership that will reward your support with their loyal business. So, how do you get this business, and with a minimum of expenditures?

When the organization is having a fund raising event, offer to provide a gift certificate for a free tune-up of a mower, string trimmer, or other equipment. This way the customer has to come into your store twice to redeem their gift certificate; once to bring the equipment and a second time to pick it up.

Another great promotional tie in we have seen is the homeowner association award program. Sponsor a "home beautiful award" each month. Have the association determine the winner, and denote that home by placing a small award sign in the front yard for the month.

Again have a gift certificate as a prize, but make sure that the association is promoting you. Asking them to name the award in honor of your business, (The Southside Mower Home of the Month Award) with your name to appear on the sign and in their monthly newsletter.

Fund raising for a charitable group is another way to draw attention to your business. If you sponsor events with the winner being announced at your store on a Saturday afternoon, you will often find free publicity from the newspaper and radio stations.

One of the best contests we have seen for a charitable group has been to find the most beautiful bald head in town. Photos of each contestant were displayed in the store with each being attached to a collection jar. Customers voted with their dollar donations as to who had the most beautiful head. The winner of the contest received a weekend for two with the trip being donated by a radio station. All of the money was then given to the local charitable group.

Again the local mower shop is perceived as being the concerned community citizen and many new customers frequent the store as they come to "vote" for their favorite bald head.

The most successful shops doing this type of promotion have made a point to say that in creating the event they did so with their hand touching their heart and not feeling the money in their pocket. And yet when the event was over, their community involvement did more to drive business into their store than any advertising.

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This article is copyrighted by Tom Shay and Profits Plus Solutions, who can be reached at: PO Box 1577, St. Petersburg, Fl. 33731. Phone 727-464-2182. It may be printed for an individual to read, but not duplicated or distributed without expressed written consent of the copyright owner.

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Profits Plus Solutions, Inc.
PO Box 1577
St. Petersburg, Fl 33731
(727) 464-2182
Fax: (727) 898-3179