Thursday, December 12, 2013

How a New Business Packed it's Store this Holiday Season

It has been three long months, hundreds of brain twisting decisions, and finally the store is open, just in time for the upcoming holiday walk sponsored by the Downtown Business Association. Each year the Downtown Business Association advertises a holiday walk through town to local residents, which crowds the streets each year.

Clair is a managing partner in the company.  For the past year she has been taking her life's savings and investing it in the store.  She is determined to take advantage of the holiday walk by generating foot traffic into the store.

The store specializes in two areas, kid's haircuts, and a Blow Dry Bar for adults.  The goal was to lure parents and mothers into the store.  Clair sat in the plush salon chair and slowly spun in a circle, until she felt dizzy.  "Champagne, we'll give out glasses of champagne, and maybe some wine!" Clair blurts out to her partners across the room.  We can get somebody to play music, make the store festive. That should draw people!" chimes in an employee who is busy placing the last of the holiday decorations.

Later that afternoon, Clair is on the phone with an entertainment agent going through their roster of talent. Some sound interesting, others just did not fit the bill.  One act that did sound promising was a balloon entertainer who has worked Grand Openings, has experience with holiday walks, and can give a sales pitch while performing.  Something Clair never considered; using a professional pitchman to help promote the store.

After several meetings with fellow partners, and going back and forth with the entertainment agency, Clair settles on a musician and a promotional balloon entertainer.

Like clockwork people slowly started to fill the streets, and Clair was ready.  She schedules the entertainer for 1.5 hours, and the musician for the full four hours.  Clair was taking no chances and placed both entertainers in the store windows, positioned the Champagne/wine bar in a direct path with the open door so passers by could see.

As Clair oversees the activities she noticed that the promotional balloon entertainer was not in his window, but instead was outside gathering a small crowd of kids.  A minute later, like the pied piper, he walks in with a parade of kids in tow.

She watched. The kids do not have any adults with them, but he is making these outlandish hats. The group of girls are giggling and pointing at each other and seeing who can take the best selfie with their entire hat in the picture. It was comical to watch these girls.

Off the girls go, and Clair hears her entertainer say; "Now when asked where you got the balloons, you are going to say.....and in unison they shouted out the store name. Clair instantly knew what he was doing and applauded his willingness to help draw the crowds.

Minutes later, Clair was busy pouring champagne, and talking with mothers as they filled the store to capacity.  Apparently, the word had spread.....the balloon guy is down the street, in the beauty salon.

Clair had to make the decision to let the balloon guy go and risk losing a big attraction, or using the remaining budget and keep it going.  Clair had retained some of the budget for emergency and extended the entertainer's time. Not once, not twice, but three times she extends the end time, until the partners agreed, the balloons are a massive draw and we keep going as long as people are coming.

Clair shuts the doors an hour after the holiday walk ended. She had spent her entire budget, passed out hundreds of fliers, and was overwhelmed by the turnout.  She even learned something new, that the balloon entertainer was attracting families from the family restaurant across the street.  Something she will have to keep in mind for future events or maybe work out a mutual marketing program with the restaurant.

Take Away Points

  • Take advantage of any community events to advertise your company
  • Commit to professional entertainment, they are the ambassadors to potential clients
  • Do not hide the talent; make it easy for people to find
  • Keep a small reserve in your budget for emergencies
  • Build working relationships with neighboring businesses

No comments:

Balloon Animals

Press Releases Magical Balloon-dude Dale Forum Spotlight Aricles