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It’s not over yet. So, let’s get some new momentum to take us through the next stretch of running a business while much of the world is still staying at or near home. Here are some ideas:
A deli has a sign on the window offering masks for $3, limit two per person. This is ingenious because the deli isn’t the most popular spot on the strip. Affordable masks might draw new people into the shop. Once they’re inside and enclouded by the aroma of garlic pickles, who could resist ordering a sandwich, bag of chips, beverage and even a cookie?
A popular cocktail bar is closed, but a sign on their window offers free access to a pantry of goods that have been hard to find in grocery stores: toilet paper, flour, yeast. This idea is beautiful because it makes life easier for people. The lack of an obvious tie-in to cocktails is itself appealing. People will remember the generous gesture and may drop in for a drink out of pure curiosity or gratitude.
Perhaps you have a decent flow of customers, but they can’t consume enough to keep enough cash coming in. A small bakery-cafe offers freshly baked bread every day, but they know that a household probably won’t go through more than a loaf or two per week. The sign on their window has an idea: Customers can order, and pay for, extra loaves of bread, which the bakery will make and deliver to a neighborhood homeless shelter. This is ingenious because customers will buy more items at full price. The purchaser feels good and the beneficiaries enjoy high-end baked goods.
You can almost feel the hunger for feel-good stories when you check the news online, on TV, or on the radio. So, be creative. Think about what you have to offer and the many ways you can get it into people’s hands. Even if you sell online, you can donate money or items every time someone buys something from you. And be optimistic. Assume that your good deeds will lead to good things for you in the future.
Many people who are stuck at home are feeling a little bored by now. They’re probably even reading their snail mail. Will using the United States Postal Service be your next great idea?
A nice-looking mailer from you could be just what they need. If you go this route, take the time to do it well. Make sure your material is nice-looking, has a prominent message that will catch people’s eye, and that the graphics are crisp. This is your chance to make a great impression on a basically captive audience.
Now, what will you offer? A simple list of products might not intrigue people who are looking for ways to fill their time. You may want to create and sell an experience. Readers’ Romance: Two new books, a pound of coffee, two new mugs and two brownies. Family Dinner: Flowers, candles, linen napkins, and food from a local restaurant. The Puzzler: A book of crossword puzzles and perfect pens. The Basker: Towels, bath salts and body lotion.
You may have to partner with other businesses to offer a compelling package, but that could be an advantage. Most people want to support local businesses but need more encouragement or inspiration. You can provide both.
SBG Funding may be able to help you carry out your best ideas. Why not see how much you can borrow? Just fill out this online application.
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