This is the BEST month yet! A whole month about YOU, the Indie Retailer! During Independent Retailer Month, we will be sharing great information from our vendors, like marketing to millenials, back to school, merchandising on-trend pieces along with a few other things along the way. I hope you are as excited as we are!
Article adapted from 5/19/2014; Updated 7/6/2016
The month long celebration was created to help your business have an opportunity to draw special attention to you. So, what can you do to make this happen?
The first suggestion is that you tell, using social media, your website, your traditional advertising, and signage in your business how their shopping a locally owned business benefits the community. When you are advertising on social media, make sure to use the appropriate hasthags, like #shoplocal, #buylocal, #shopindie, #buyindie, #indieretail, #shoplocal, the last two are the official hashtags for Indie Retailer Month!
You can call the media and offer to be the local expert on Independent Retailer Month by sharing this information with the local radio stations, television stations and newspapers. A morning talk show on the radio or televisions is an excellent way to get some exposure for your business and the event. When they interview you, they are surely going to mention you by name and identify you as the owner of your business. This is free advertising.
Be sure to contact the offices of your mayor or other elected officials to get them to issue a proclamation to celebrate Independent Retailer Month. Perhaps the proclamation can be signed at your business. Regardless of where it is taken, be sure that any photographs taken of the signing have you in the picture.
If your business has windows that your customers seek, you can use some tempera paint to put some of this information. To make it unique, you can change the message each day as a way to get your customers to come by and see what the message of the day is.
If you choose to have special prices during the month, you could offer a special item each of the 31 days. You could draw additional attention to the event by having the ending two digits of the price of these items be ’31’.
Of course you know that in your neighborhood or community, there are numerous other independent retailers. Partnering with these other businesses can expose customers of one business to the second business. As an example, the local bakery shop could partner with a dress shop to offer samples of their delicious pastries to those visiting the dress shop.
You could partner with 31 other businesses to have them in your business each of the days of the month. And you should suggest some of these other businesses do what you are doing and invite you to be introduced to their customers in a similar method.
Again, joining with other businesses you could create a card that customers would carry and have stamped as they visit each of the other businesses. If they visit all of the participating businesses, at the end of the month, cards could be submitted for a drawing for a prize. Each of the participating stores can offer a prize so that more customers are rewarded.
If this is your first year of participating in Independent Retailer Month, make a commitment to yourself now that it will not be your last. When the event is over for 2016, the month of August is the best time to take some notes with regard to the results you achieved as well as make your plans for participating in 2017.
Independent Retailer Month is a celebration of you and the thousands of businesses around the world who are proud and active members of your local community. Have a great time at the celebration!
Read more articles from #onecoast (see what I did there!) vendors here!
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The Profits Plus website provides that assistance to you through the many calculators, articles, and other tools created by small business expert Tom Shay. Shay, a fourth generation small business owner and speaker talks from experience. Shay’s knowledge of small business marketing, business strategy, staffing, and financial management have provided small business owners with the help necessary to increase their profits plus build their business for the future. Shay also works with manufacturers and wholesalers to help their staff understand the complexity and challenges these small businesses face. Helping these suppliers to have the knowledge to assist these small businesses allows the supplier to be a more valuable partner. For more information, visit The Profits Plus website at profitsplus.org or email Tom at firstname.lastname@example.org