You, small business owner, are the ultimate American. The backbone of our economy. The rugged individualist that the founding fathers had in mind. Or, more accurately, probably somebody who’s going to be stuck working on the 4th of July. Because with the average American planning to spend upwards of $300 on this holiday, according to Practical Money Skills for Life, you’re going to want to be open for business. Here are 7 tips for convincing people to come in and give you some of that $300 as a token of appreciation.
- Be a part of the holiday
We wouldn’t call it photo bombing, per se. But if people are taking pictures of your city’s 4th of July parade - and your business is in that parade - and HAPPENS to be walking by while they’re posting pictures on Instagram, that’s not a bad thing. Same thing if you have some kind of fireworks view: Throw a party for people to come and watch the show and there’s a good chance your signage will be in all their pictures, some not-so-subtle July 4th product placement.
- Show your appreciation
July 4 is a time where we put aside our differences and enjoy the fact that we live in the greatest country in the world. And if you’re showing the same patriotic fervor, people will respond. Offer a patriotic sale or giveaway, like discounts on American-made products or trip to some nearby historical landmark. Offering free products to veterans is also never a bad strategy. Even if you take an immediate loss, the veterans - and the public - will take notice and patronize your establishment in the future.
- Offer large volume takeout
Since cookouts are as much a part of July 4 as parents warning you about that kid they knew in middle school who blew off his right hand with a firecracker, people who don’t like cooking are going to need some food to bring. Lots of it. Especially if your restaurant isn’t known for finger-food type catering, offering it will get people excited to bring something different to the usual spread of chicken wings and tabbouleh salad.
- Promote with the colors
Could you imagine living in a country where the national colors were, like, pea green and rust? Awful. Take advantage of living in a country with an aesthetically pleasing color scheme and move red, white and blue clothes to the front of your store. Or, remind people on social media that it would be really cool to get their nails painted in patriotic hues at your nail salon.
- Cater to people who don’t like fireworks
No fireworks?? On the 4th?? That’s just un-American! Yeah, or it means you don’t like loud noises/the thought of massive balls of fire in the sky over your head with nowhere to go but down. If you’ve got an indoor venue, play up that you CAN’T see the fireworks from inside. Maybe offer up some flaming food or drink specials to promote “indoor” fireworks. Or show fireworks displays on a loop in your store for “The 4th of July experience without the potential for premature hearing loss.”
- Partner to create the “Ultimate 4th of July Experience”
Since the licensing for a steakhouse/gun range/pro wrestling venue is a serious pain to get, find some other businesses in your area that offer uber-American experiences and create the Most American 4th of July Package Ever. Like apple pie breakfast at one restaurant, an hour at the batting cages, steaks from a butcher for grilling, some time on the pistol range and a case of cheap domestic beer from the neighborhood grocery store for after. It’ll get some serious social media legs and, possibly, even news coverage.
- Send an email to your customers with 4th of July “suggestions”
Though it might be tricky to convince your customer base that the best way to spend 4th of July is getting that long-overdue radiator flush, sending an email with Independence Day ideas can spur people into your business unexpectedly. For instance, suggesting people “Get out on the road and see America” on the 4th might make them think, “Oh, hey, I need to get that radiator flushed. Oh, and look, there’s a coupon right here in this email.....”
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