When you initially open a shop one of the hardest tasks is building a customer base and keeping those customers. If you are lucky enough to open in an exclusive area with heavy walk-in traffic, then you don't have to rush to build up your customers. However, if you off the beaten path and need business, you are going to have to create a plan to draw customers to your store, your website or at least to call in orders. Hopefully, you already planned your marketing strategy when you laid out your business plan. If not, here is an idea to help you along the way.
[...] You can create a simple brochure for you and your new partners that explains that while you are not directly affiliated with any of the businesses in the partnership, you are joining forces to make it easier on the prospective customer when planning a party. It may take a few tries with various partners and in getting the word out but once you have found the right recipe, you could start reaping great rewards from just agreeing to meet together with prospective clients. [...]
[...] In other words, you pay to have your name associated with a group of companies that have decided that they can define the ethical standards for the business world. You have the ability to take advantage of their special networking and workshops with other companies who paid to get on the list. And finally, they allow you to associate with these thousands of other businesses who paid to get their name on the list. It sounds to me like a lot of people paying good money to get their name on a list. [...]
[...] Your best bet for success is to go out and query this age group of kids and find out what it is they really want from a floral shop. As a shop owner, if you have kids this age, take a moment to ask them what they might like to get at a flower shop. Have your kids ask their friends. There is no better source for information that the source itself. Your next step in marketing to this age group would be to call or contact in person local area high schools and colleges in the hopes of partnering with them (in other words, donating something). [...]
[...] Create a Marketing Kit to Promote Party and Wedding Business One of the larger revenue generators for the floral industry and local flower shops is the large party and wedding business. While the everyday arrangement and delivery make up the staple of existence in the industry, parties and weddings can put you over the edge of just getting by and doing really well. So, you should make every effort to market to this segment of customers and promote yourself and the one and only shop to come to for the perfect party or wedding. [...]
[...] If a major business in the area is hosting a walk for hope for leukemia research, then you need to get involved and get your name into all of the literature surrounding the event. If your community is having a blood drive or charity auction, offer to lead the way and to hand out flowers to the blood donors or auction some plants or older shop displays to help raise money. Again, call the local TV stations and the newspapers and try to get them to cover the event. [...]
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