Small Business Ideas for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. For some, it may be an exciting time of year, and for others, it may be daunting. If you’re part of the latter population, you are probably stressing out over what to buy your significant other or where to make dinner reservations. If you’re a small business owner, the holiday can mean something entirely different than candy grams and hearts – it’s a day that can be maximized for profit and foot traffic – if you plan accordingly.

In 2017, consumers were projected to spend $18 BILLION DOLLARS on Valentine’s Day. This shows that the holiday is a dream for businesses, so you want to think strategically in order to get a piece of the pie. Did you know…

In this blog, we give small businesses four ideas to help you feel the love from your customers this Valentine’s Day.

1.       Run a promotion: Everyone loves a good deal, especially when they’re trying to plan an impressive date. Have you considered running a holiday-specific promotion? Salons and spas can offer special packages just for couples with the goal of doubling foot traffic. Restaurants can offer prix-fixe menus for Valentine’s Day with special meals just for the holiday. You can even entice guests by offering a percentage off of their next meal for dining with you on Valentine’s Day (and this means they’ll probably come back again, which is great for customer loyalty). Throwing in a champagne toast or complimentary chocolates for each table can show you want to go the extra mile to give customers an impressive experience.

2.       Create a contest: Incentives can drive awareness to your brand and inspire people to interact with you socially. Valentine’s Day is all about relationships, so consider coming up with a contest that incorporates social media. Motivate couples to share their “how we met” stories for a chance to win a free dinner or salon service. If you’re a pet service, you can ask owners to share their favorite memory with their pet for a chance to win. Ask people to use your hashtag, tag your company on social media, and share their story. Then, choose one lucky winner to enjoy the prize. Running a contest gives the potential to create buzz and engagement around your brand and can inspire more people to follow you.

3.       Offer a unique event: In the era of Instagram and live-streaming, dinner and a movie may not be the most impressive date plan. Couples, millennials in particular, are always looking for the most unique way to spend a night out and share their experience on social media. As a restaurant owner, consider hosting a cooking class or series of them around Valentine’s Day. You can even host a paint and sip or floral arrangement class at your location. Giving an opportunity for couples to work together and take home a souvenir may help you stand out from the crowd. As a salon, you can host a “couples makeover” event where they can spend the day getting a whole new look. You can even consider hosting a meet and greet for singles (who says Valentine’s Day had to be all about couples anyway?) Thinking outside of the box to create an exceptional event can go a long way in attracting crowds.

4.       Make it memorable: What is the last thing your guests will remember at the end of their evening with you? For many, Valentine’s Day evokes a sense of nostalgia. For others, the holiday is all about hope and looking forward to the future. Everyone has a memory of the holiday as a kid or is looking to create new ones. Play off of the nostalgia by incorporating some fun. Treats for your guests to take with them can be a great touch, or even setting up a photo booth for couples can add an extra element of fun to the night. Consider creating a special playlist to serve as a backdrop to conversation or set up a complimentary chocolate tasting for guests. Valentine’s Day only comes around once a year, so it’s a great opportunity to add another level of creativity to your marketing strategy.

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, and with so much money being spent on the holiday every year, you want to make sure to maximize your potential to make a profit. Unique and creative ideas, special promotions, and the extra attention to detail can help you bring couples (and singles alike) to your location for an unforgettable night out. Hoping to get your business discovered online ahead of the holiday? Contact SinglePlatform to find out more about how we can help you stand out everywhere that matters.

2018 Small Business Tips for Success

2017 is coming to a close and businesses are gearing up for what is to come in the new year. A new year means a clean slate and a chance for new opportunities. As a small business, you’re probably reflecting on the successes of the past year and thinking about what you’d like to change as you move forward. We highlight four ways you can make 2018 your best year yet.

1. Evaluate your brand:

What do you want consumers to say about you (to themselves or to their friends) after their next visit to your business? Your brand defines how consumers perceive you, so you want to make sure it is still relevant to your business goals in the new year. Are your strategies still the same as they were in 2017? Do you still want to convey the same message about what your business is and what you offer to customers? The term “brand” doesn’t only include your logo design and color scheme, but how you tell your business’ unique story. With the increasingly influential presence of technology, it is key to make sure your brand is consistent across all channels and mediums. And first impressions matter! With a new year just beginning, you’re sure to want to attract even more customers than the year before. First impressions are incredibly important to develop loyalty; 48% of consumers report that they are more likely to become loyal to a brand during the first purchase or experience.  If you start the new year with a consistent brand message and feel, your business will be more likely to gain trust from consumers.

2. See the significance in being social:

In today’s world, where millennials and Generation Z have the most purchasing power, you simply need to keep up with their fast-paced, tech driven demands. Do you have a strong social media presence? Are you interacting with your client base online and on different social platforms? 62% of millennials saying that if a brand engages with them on social networks, they are more likely to become a loyal customer. A consumer may reach out to you via direct message on Twitter to ask a question about a daily menu special, and you’ll want to be able to respond in a timely and helpful manner. You may even want to post a survey to Facebook to find out what new services clients want to see at your salon. Knowing that their opinion matters will show consumers that your business goes the extra mile.  Don’t miss out on an opportunity to gain loyalty from this generation. After all, they’ll be spending an estimated $3.39 trillion by 2018. Putting in the extra effort to build your brand presence online and on social channels can significantly help your business not only be recognized, but be trusted for years to come.

3. Stay on top of trends:

Consumers are fueled by trends and are often looking for the latest and greatest products and services. Being knowledgeable about what currently attracts crowds can come in handy for brand acknowledgement. As a restaurant owner, do you have a new recipe that has the potential to receive recognition from bloggers? It’s no secret that food videos are viral on social media and inspire people to visit restaurants just to try that buzzworthy dish. I’ll admit, I’ve driven far out of my way just to visit a pizza place I discovered on Instagram. As a salon, are you prepared to keep up with the latest in nail trends? 2017 gave way to geometric patterns and metallic polish, but 2018 spring trends predict a more natural and pastel approach. Having what your clients are looking before they walk through your door is sure to impress.

4. Keep it current:

A new calendar year is the perfect time to reevaluate your products or services. Have you thought about making changes to your menu? Are you running any holiday specials that you didn’t last year? You want to make sure that you’re clearly communicating your current offerings both in-house and online. If a returning customer comes in for their favorite burger that you removed from your menu, but is still showing as available online, they’ll probably be extremely disappointed. Utilize the power of technology to make your job as an owner easier and the customer experience better. With 3.74 billion internet users in the world, your online presence matters. You want to be easily searchable and accurate. Start the new year off right by having the correct business listings and information available to consumers. Keeping up with consumer demands and the trends of the times is key when entering into a new calendar year.

With 2018 quickly approaching, it is the perfect time to evaluate your business and prepare for a successful year ahead. Utilize these tips to make sure you have a competitive edge moving forward. To get more content like this, subscribe to our blog!