Want to see your business grow in the coming year? (Obviously!) Here are five diverse tactics to try in 2019.
- Buddy up with another business in the community. Partnerships can pay off in spades. For one, they expose your brand to a whole new clientele. Secondly, cross-marketing doubles your reach and cuts your costs in half. The possibilities here are endless. You could go all-in like Rockcastle Florist, which recently started subletting a third of its Rochester, New York shop to a local baker, or pair up with another business for a specific event, such as a restaurant or bed and breakfast for Valentine’s Day or a hairdresser, nail salon or dress shop for prom.
- Embrace an activity to get people in your door. In-shop experiences are just one way brick and mortar retailers can beat online giants like Amazon. It’s been well documented that millennials — now the most populous generation — value doing things rather than buying things. Cater to this demographic by hosting a fun activity at your shop, be it a design class, build-your-own terrarium or bouquet bar, a “girl’s night out,” engagement party with other wedding vendors or a makeshift selfie station in front of a sunflower wall.
- Court the press. Media coverage is fabulous — and free! — PR for your shop. Having a reporter cover on your shop provides exposure and credibility. Making it happen is easier than you think. Journalists are constantly hunting for story ideas and love receiving tips. Take a national trend or timely event, share how flowers relate and invite them to your shop for an interview and photo/filming opportunity. Need ideas? Peruse SAF’s many pre-written, customizable press releases here. Also, read how several SAF members scored prominent coverage for Petal It Forward for more publicity pointers.
- Pick a new place to network. The chamber of commerce isn’t the only place to network. Freelance designer Jennifer Harvey, CAFA, of Brockville, Ontario, recommends black-tie events, where there’s a lot of potential to hobnob with wealthy people who might hire (or refer) her to do flowers for high-end weddings and events. Another surprising place to meet prospective clients? International events, such as food festivals, where you can mingle with people from other cultures. (Indian weddings, for instance, tend to span three days and cost upwards of $500,000.)
- Experiment with different social media tactics. Want to engage more people? Break out of your social media routine. Incorporate some new strategies, such as Facebook Live videos, Instagram stories, Facebook ads and other sponsored content or an Instagram takeover from a local influencer.
Katie Hendrick Vincent is the senior contributing editor of Floral Management.