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BFS Capital Blog

Last-Minute Tips for Promoting Your Small Business on Father’s Day

June 11, 2014

Can you really put a price tag on invaluable advice like “you gotta feed your dog or he’ll eat your garbage?” Well, yes, actually, you can and apparently that price tag is $117, the average amount the National Retail Federation has estimated one spends on Father’s Day gifts. (This seems pretty paltry considering how important it is to keep your garbage safe.) But, multiply that by 70 million dads in America, and we’ll spend $12.7 billion on Father’s Day this year. How does your small business get a slice of that? Here’s 7 tips that are almost as useful as that warning your dad gave you about the dog.

1. Target kids.

It may seem slightly counterintuitive to directly offer specials to a customer base with an annual income of $10 a week, $9 of which is allotted to Pokémon cards. But “childish persuasion” can be very effective, and somebody is going to get fed up with listening to them and drive the kids to your store. Usually that person is called “mom.” And SHE may well be in the market for something a little more expensive than a bag of golf tees.

2. Give something tangible if you’re a service-oriented business.

Even though technically a $100 gift card to your restaurant is worth more than a hand-written coupon for 10 free hugs, on its surface it looks pretty much the same. Offer up a free pint glass, or a box of balls for a golf lesson that can be presented along with the gift card. Because nothing says “Thanks, Dad” like a fresh quart of 30-weight.

3. Promote all week or weekend.

If everyone was required to take advantage of your specials only on Father’s Day, you’d have a lot of sad, fatherless-looking families sitting at your restaurant with an empty seat and a flat beer for “in case he shows up.” The reality is lots of dads have to work on Father’s Day, and offering up your holiday specials all weekend – or even all week – lets dads with non-traditional schedules celebrate with you as well.

4. Partner with another business.

While it might be tough to convince anyone a full body exfoliation is a perfect gift for Dad, combine it with a free oil change for his car with the mechanic across the street from your spa and you’ve got a pretty solid Father’s Day package. You might want to throw in some giant steaks from a local butcher shop, though, so he doesn’t feel completely emasculated.

5. Run a contest.

Remember that blog that became a TV show that was on for, like, 5 minutes called “Stuff” my Dad Says? EVERYONE has a dad who says that stuff, and they’d all love nothing better than to share it with you on Twitter for the chance to win a free bar tab. Another popular social media contest: father-son lookalike competitions.

6. Offer follow-up services.

There are dads out there who perpetually look like they go to the same barber as Skrillex. Their families may be attracted to a grooming package that not only gets him a haircut, but also a complimentary follow-up shave and/or shape up so he doesn’t go back to looking like Judge Doom as soon as his gift certificate is used up. The same concept can be applied to any service, or even restaurants and retail. Get this nice shirt, and voucher for a free tie to match it.

7. Offer a demo or free service.

Most men before they have facials: “That’s for women. What kind of sissy gets that done?” Most men after they have facials: “That’s still for sissies….but you know what, I’m not gonna lie my face hasn’t felt like this since I was 10.” But beyond adding in a mini-facial to a massage, for example, your business can offer up a new product you’ve wanted to sample out free with Father’s Day purchases, like a new appetizer if you come in for dinner, or a free yoga class with a personal training session.
Image courtesy of Ambro /