You know the saying, You can’t have too many friends. A great way for a business to create new friendships is by teaming up with a non-profit.
One way to do it is to designate a percentage of your sales for the charity of your choice when you plan an event.
The charity will spread the word to its supporters, and that should broaden the base of your attendees, as well as increase your actual sales. Of course, whenever you link up with a non-profit you also exponentially increase the possibility of getting media coverage, which means that still more people will know about your business.
But you don’t even have to have an event to donate to a charity. You can just pick a date, for example, the anniversary of your store’s opening, and give a percentage of purchases that day to a charity of your choice. Tell everyone via your website, email, and newsletter. Also use mainstream and social media to broadcast the news.
They’ll get the word out to everyone on their lists as well, and both you and the charity will profit. If their supporters become ongoing customers, you’ll continue to do well from doing good.
For years, small business owners supported local sports teams and benefited by having their name splashed across the front of t-shirts. While that still works, here’s an updated way to do this.
Donate merchandise for goody bags at a charity’s events. It can be as simple as shoelaces if you’re in the shoe business, to seeds if you’re a florist, to diamond cleaner if you’re a jeweler. Naturally, all of the products will have your name on them.
But with the okay of the non-profit, you can also go more upscale. You can give away one half of more expensive items–one glove, one earring, etc.—and let event attendees know that the mate is waiting at your store.
At a minimum, you’ll be thanked in the program. Sometimes, charities also talk up donations when they introduce the program, so there’s a chance you’ll be spotlighted there as well.
Help others and you’ll be helped as well.
If you want more ideas about bringing in business, I can help. I’ve been a retail reporter at Women’s Wear Daily and Home Furnishings News, a columnist at the Miami Herald and a correspondent at People.
I’ve also handled the marketing and public relations at major corporations and small businesses. Need a speaker or a consultant? Connect with me at LinkedIn, or follow me on Twitter @laureltielis.
You can also get in touch at Ask Laurel (one word) at laureltielis.com. For easy and effective ways to bring in more business, read my book Ka-Ching! How to Ring Up More Sales.
Copyright © 2014 Laurel Tielis
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