As posted in the Gaston Gazette
Special events can be both exciting and challenging to pull off, especially for small businesses. Most of the time, if you spend enough money, your event can benefit your business, your clients or customers, and your employees. But how can you maximize those benefits without overspending? Here are a few ideas:
- Partner with another business. You probably already have a contact list full of businesses in your area that are close by and complementary to what you offer. When it comes to events, it’s worth considering bringing in one of those businesses to share the spotlight. Not only can you collaborate on how best to showcase your services or skills, but chances are, together you’ll also come up with some exciting ideas for how to draw client or customer attention that are more innovative than those you might think of alone. Best of all, as Jennifer Goforth Gregory notes at American Express’s OPEN Forum, when you bring another business into the fold, you’ll have access to their pool of customers as well as your own – and since you’ll be splitting the bill, you’ll also save money.
- Highlight what makes you unique. Sure, you can read over reams of customer statistics or peruse an influencer’s Instagram feed. Online research about the people you most want to attract will certainly yield a lot of great information. But providing them with the chance to walk through your door is one of the best ways to make your business unforgettable. Take the time to make sure your event is focused and specific; take the time to showcase exactly what makes your business distinctive, and give them the chance to see your employees and your products or services in action. Giving your event definite boundaries and a sharp focus will go a long way to providing evidence of your dedication, and it means you’ll have far better shot of securing their business.
- Build your brand with sensory details. Since so much engagement these days is online, it can actually feel like a breath of fresh air to potential customers and clients if you invite them to an event and meet face-to-face. That event can serve as an even more powerful lure if you can make the entire sensory experience something that customers or clients find memorable. You have the chance to leave a positive and lasting sensory impression that will make it more likely that they will think of you first when they need the product or service that you provide.
- Connect with your community. Chances are, you wave to your neighbors, and many of them may stroll by your shop front regularly. But it’s also likely that there are community members out there who know you and know your business, but have never been inside. Special events are a nosy neighbor’s dream: they give passersby the chance to come in and check you out without committing to anything. But if you put your best foot forward and make that event special, not only will individuals get to know you and respect what you do, there’s also a far greater chance that they’ll stop just walking by your door and step inside every once in a while.
- Keep an eye out for investors. While your main focus probably is (and should be) on attracting new clients or customers during a special event, don’t forget the other potentials who might be walking through your door: investors. There are lots of people out there who are supportive of businesses, who admire entrepreneurs, and who see businesses as an investment opportunity because they know a good thing when they see it, but are also savvy enough to know they don’t have the skill set required to make that business successful. Instead, they keep their eyes open for great investment opportunities – and that could be you. After all, as the folks over at Simply Business point out, running a business is challenging, and “you may require a cash injection at some point along the way.”
Our advice? Go for it! Taking the plunge and committing to a special event for your business has a lot of benefits, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. If you take the time to plan well, you’ll be glad you gave it a go.