To celebrate our nation’s independence from the British, Americans celebrate in that most American of ways: spending a lot of money.
Did you know that Americans spend more than $3 billion on food and fireworks ALONE on the 4th of July? That doesn’t even account for face painting, oversized Uncle Sam hats, US flag bikinis and transportation costs of getting to the July 4th barbecues that 160 million people plan to attend.
The point is, our forefathers founded this great nation for people like you – the small business owner. And you’d be doing them a disservice to if your small business did not capitalize on all the money that our Independence Day holiday is going to generate. So here are 11 ways to boost your business for the 4th of July that you may not have considered.
Create a July 4th themed product or service
Creating a July 4th themed product or service isn’t just limited to pretty cocktails and flag-covered cupcakes either. If you run a retail business, you can get special July 4th shirts made (just make sure they’re attention-grabbing). Or a restaurant can make special menu items that utilize American beef and produce in American dishes. Are you an auto mechanic? Then promote your auto shop business with a “Glad to be an American? Cool, then get an oil change” campaign. Or better yet, offer a small discount for automotive services on American vehicles.
Get people to decorate themselves
What is Independence Day, really, if not a celebration of breaking from the bonds of tyranny? Tyranny like normally colored hair, or traditional nail polish. If you run a nail salon or hair salon, then cater to that independent spirit by offering up holiday-only manicures with the stars and stripes, or easily-washable red, white and blue hair coloring for those who REALLY want to make a statement. That statement being “This washes out, right?”
Give something to people wearing the American flag
You know the only thing Americans love more than America? Free stuff. So show your appreciation with a free loss leader to people who deck themselves out in the stars and stripes (be sure to specify that in the south). Wearing red, white and blue? Then enjoy your free draft beer. Or a free soda. Or a free shampoo sample. Whatever, just something quick and affordable that gets people in and encourages them to stay.
Post artistic July 4th photos
As adorable as a little kid in an Uncle Sam hat is, people have seen it roughly 458,000 times on Instagram. On that day alone. But if you post some artistic, well-edited, red white and blue pictures to your business’ social media networks, it may get people to notice. You could also consider running a social media promotion that encourages people to submit patriotic photos or submit funny captions to a July 4th photo of your choosing.
Throw an “in the biz” July Third party
Since you’re reading this article, it probably means you’ll be working on July 4th. Guess what? So will a lot of other people. But that doesn’t mean they don’t like to celebrate America too. So, on July 3rd, throw a barbecue, a party, or just a big discounted night for all the poor souls who have to work on America’s birthday. And, laws permitting, have a little fireworks display too so they get the full experience.
Place July 4th must-haves at your POS
Even if they’re simply paying for an oil change or a well-timed haircut, there’s never a time when somebody won’t look at a small basket next to your cash register and think “Oh, you know, I really DO need a butane lighter for this weekend’s barbecue/obscene fireworks extravaganza.” And you don’t need to stop at lighters. Promote point-of-sale impulse buy items like sunscreen, insect repellent, or even firecrackers – if you can do so legally.
Sell picnic-ready food
Since a large percentage of the population is actually NOT obsessed with impressing their neighbors with their mind-blowing finger-sandwich-making skills, but still don’t want to be that guy who shows up to the party with a “Family Size” bag of Cheetos, people will be looking for large amounts of delicious, sharable food to bring to July 4th functions. Even if catering platters aren’t your usual thing, make an exception and offer party trays of some of your smaller finger-food items.
Create a party checklist with other local businesses
Maybe your liquor store sells beer and wine, and you team up to run a co-branded promotion with the sports bar next door that sells large platters of wings to go. That’s great, but don’t stop there. Join up with a retail store that sells flag-themed apparel and a nearby fireworks stand and, hey, you don’t want to show up to the barbecue without a fresh haircut or cute nails, right? And you’ll probably need an oil change to make sure you get there on time! You get the idea. Print up the cards, have them at each business, and offer a cool prize to people who actually get everything checked off. Position it like a July 4th scavenger hunt that promotes local businesses.
Hand out branded water on the parade route
Branded bottled water comes cheap, and while selling it along a steamy parade route might net you a couple hundred dollars, giving it away will earn you far more in goodwill. Except maybe from the people who have to pick up trash after said parade but, hey, at least they’ll be staring at your logo all day too!
Become a July 4th resource online
Not EVERYTHING has to be about selling. If you can become a known online resource for stuff like parade routes, good places to watch fireworks, local food and drink deals on the fourth, and other essential holiday knowledge, it will further your brand in the long run. Utilize your company’s Twitter and Facebook profiles to send out maps, schedules and updates for everything going on on the holiday and see how much more traffic it nets you.
Promote using 4th of July numbers
In case you failed 4th grade history, the Declaration of Independence was signed on July 4th, 1776. That’s 7-4-1776, and some pretty fun numbers to play around with. Offer some smaller items for 4-for-$7 or a mid-range product for $17.76. Case in point: There are 11 items on this list. And what is 7+4?? Ah-HA! You get the idea …
Get creative and find original ways to tie in the 4th of July holiday with your small business. With a little effort, you may discover a July 4th marketing campaign that shows your patriotism and has a significant impact on your small business’ bottom line.