Here are a few ways your brick-and-mortar business can continue to generate revenue, even if your business doors are shut. Everyone has thought of curbside service or offering delivery, but what else can get the cash moving again?
Let’s take a look.
- Pre-sell products and services
If customers can’t come in to buy right now, encourage them to purchase something in advance. We recently purchased tickets to a weekend getaway when the restrictions relax. We got a discount and the venue got desperately needed cash now.
Run a pre-sale event for your products or services.
Promote new offerings, or run a discount deal on existing products. For example, a hair salon could encourage customers to prepay for their next hair appointment by giving them a free product when they schedule in advance.
- Sell gift cards (with a deal)
Another way to get customers to pay now for something they can get in the future is by selling gift certificates.
Give customers a simple way to purchase gift cards on your website, and drive sales by adding a deal to the offer.
For example, a restaurant could offer a deal such as buy a $50 gift card and get a $10 gift card for free. If you run this offer, note in the terms that only one gift card can be used per visit to encourage a second visit. This strategy brings in revenue while giving customers a reason to visit your restaurant a second time.
- Take your services online
If your business primarily sells services, see how you can offer the same value through virtual experiences.
Use one-on-one video conferencing tools or group live-stream services to gather multiple customers for a paid service. For example, a therapist can conduct one-on-one sessions through HIPAA-compliant video conferencing, or a health and wellness business can hold an online yoga class.
We can help add e-commerce to your existing site for less than you would imagine.
- Create digital products
Another way to generate revenue while your business doors are shut is by using the downtime to create a digital product that you can sell online.
Creating a digital product like a course, eBook, or workshop is a smart idea because it can generate revenue as soon as you finish it, as well as in the future.
For example, a fine dining restaurant could have the chef create a workshop on knife skills, or a gym could put together a multi week online fitness program.
Be seen as the expert in the industry by offering entry level courses online for your business. The truth is, once people see how difficult it is, they are more likely to appreciate your services and be willing to pay for them.
- Host a live online fundraiser event
Your community and brand fans might be looking for a way to support your business during a difficult time. Give them the option by hosting a live online fundraiser. Share the circumstances that forced you to close your doors and what you are raising money for.
To increase the likelihood of people donating, give away something for free to show your good faith. For example, a bar forced to close its doors could host an online mixologist demo on Facebook Live and invite viewers to donate “tips” to the bartenders.
- Engage your customers so they are ready to come back when your doors open
If the doors to your business are shut because of extenuating circumstances that will eventually be resolved, start planning now for re-opening your doors.
Don’t fall out of the mind of your customers.
Keep in touch with them via email marketing and social media. Share updates on your situation and what your business is doing to cope, and get promotions ready to release right when your doors open again.
When the doors to your brick-and-mortar business suddenly close, it can be a scary and unnerving time. Hopefully, with these tips, you’ve found ways to spark customer engagement and generate revenue during a difficult time.
Need help moving these ideas into action? Call Branding Iron and we’ll do the heavy lifting.