The Big Day: How to turn any occasion into an electrifying event at your small business

December 7, 2016

This post is part of our Marketing & Promotions for small business series. Explore more better business tips and tactics here on the Clover blog.

In general, the calendar presents most businesses with a number of opportunities to make a good impression on the public and be festive while drawing in customers to their store or shop. From Valentine’s Day to Independence Day, Halloween and the holiday season, each year offers businesses multiple opportunities to roll out the red carpet, put on some festive music, and clear inventory with a half-off sale.

But if holidays are the only times of the year a business is leveraging what’s going on in the world to bring customers into the store, they’re missing out on many of the other kinds of events that happen in a community—meaning missed opportunities to capture surges of new revenue and missed opportunities to expose the business to a high concentration of new customers.

Whether your city is hosting something as large as the Super Bowl or part of the NCAA tournament, or your shop is located along a parade route or fun run, being ready to take advantage of the opportunities—and all the new faces—an event brings can mean big things for your small business. Below, we offer some tips on how to get ready for the big day, whatever that day is:

Be prepared.

One of the biggest parts of being ready for an event is actually knowing an event is happening. That means getting on local chamber, government, and news mailing lists to stay aware of events. Follow local media outlets (alt-weekly papers, radio stations, etc.) on social media to stay aware of more underground and eclectic events that might be happening in your area.

Buddy up.

When something big is happening in the neighborhood, it might be a good idea to partner with neighbor businesses, block associations, and suppliers to pool marketing and operations resources, increase capacity, and generally share the load on event day.

Know the rules.

Sometimes big events like Super Bowl, NBA or NCAA finals, and the World Series have special rules for vendors doing business near the event. Know those rules inside and out to ensure everything stays up and humming on the big day.

Know who’s coming.

It’s important you’re aware of exactly who is coming to any event so you’re able to shift marketing and offerings accordingly. For example, how you talk to the Knitting Guild Association conference attendees will be very different than NASCAR fans. Know your audience.

Plan logistics.

It’s important to schedule plenty of time to setup and teardown. Consider practice runs and having hour-by-hour action plans (like when to replenish ice, schedule breaks, etc.), as well as beefing up on additional management resources and workers.

Capture new customers.

Big events bring plenty of new faces into your business—-make sure you capture them as customers. Push your loyalty program, hand out fliers with a discount for online purchases, or create special-edition merchandise to increase revenue opportunities and keep those new customers as customers in the future.

Go small.

If your shop isn’t exactly close to the event, consider taking your show on the road and being a vendor at the event itself. There are a number of affordable mobile POS solutions that offer the flexibility and mobility of a smartphone with the security of a traditional point of sale.

Whether an event is large or small, the key to making the most of whatever might come is to be prepared. By keeping your finger on the pulse of your neighborhood and city, you can be ready, to take advantage of the many new faces, and capture the revenue that comes along with them, that an event might bring.

[image: 2013 Rally for Transgender Equality 21172 by Ted Eytan on flickr]

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