Dollars Sense: Welcoming summertime business

By STACY WALKUP / Guest Columnist

How do small businesses survive in the summer?

In our area, the weather is very humid as the temperatures heat up which can make for a long summer on both you and your customers.

A lot of times when the children are out of school and people are taking family vacations it just feels like there is no one around.

What kinds of things can your business do in the summer days to help keep going? Think weddings, vacations and water sports, house parties with friends, golfing, music, special seasonal occasions and summertime activities that your communities are offering.

I know gas prices are not in there, but do consider it because this is a time you can really dazzle your customers that may normally drive farther for their goods or services.

Right now with gas prices climbing it truly may be wise to shop close to home to save time and money.

You can really include the personal touch in thanking your customers for shopping local and always invite them to come back to shop again.

Store windows are so important to your business.

Window fronts are your 24-hour sales and marketing display, so spend some time in organizing your windows so they still look great and draw attention when you leave.

Instead of just putting the latest new trend in your window, think about painting a picture that coordinates what you offer by making a display featuring a vacation, fourth of July house party, bridal shower or maybe a cruise.

When you paint this picture consumers can clearly see an occasion or it may spark a fire of interest to pursue some of these fun summertime activities.

I know it is frustrating when you just finished decorating your window and someone comes in and buys the focal piece right out of the window, but guess what it worked.

If you don’t sale retail items, keep in mind that with all the summer activities going on in your community it is still nice to have a welcoming entrance.

You might want to get out your customer contact list and invite your customer to an upcoming community event, ask how they are doing and invite them to come to your business for a special savings.

Visit the communities of Columbiana, Chelsea, Harpersville, Westover, Wilsonville and Vincent on our Web site at http://www.southshelbychamber.com. To find out about upcoming community events visit your chambers Web site.