Growth in the travel and tourism business is booming, and even though the warm temperatures haven’t exactly covered the U.S., this spring is promising to be good for the U.S. tourist industry and the small businesses that support it.
So, how can small business owners put the 2018 spring and summer vacation seasons to profitable use? Here are some strategies and marketing tips to help you start planning a successful spring today.
Hire your seasonal workers now! If your business counts on the summer season or tourist trade, start planning now. There is a certain subset of workers that generally only do seasonal work. If you intend to hire good folks who know your business and care about your customers, don’t wait too long. Now is the time to hire and hold well-trained people before your competition does.
If you need help meeting your short-term working capital needs, such as building inventory for the season or paying workers, make sure to get in touch with your bank or financial institution early. One of the risks of waiting too long is the banks running sales forecasts. Sometimes they can begin to get a little stingy if they believe things aren’t going as predicted.
Be the customers’ friend and line up plenty of sales, giveaways, and incentives. Whether your customers migrate away from you during tourist season or you are in the heart of a tourist hot-spot, use promotional items with your name, website, and slogan printed on them. Host a competition and use these as giveaways or give items away when customers frequent your business.
Have a presence at every local event and festival. And don’t stop there. Consider hosting an event of your own if you have the facilities or can get them lined up for a reasonable cost. Sponsoring or participating in local festivals, carnivals and fairs is not only a great way to show off your brand, it can help introduce new and potential customers to your products and services. Start by finding events that are the right fit for your business. Local newspapers, city or homeowner association websites, as well as your local Chamber of Commerce, can help point you to upcoming events in your community.
And last but not least, remember to stay in touch with customers year-round. If you run a seasonal business, your off-season should be one of your busiest marketing seasons. Capture customer emails, send updates year-round and use social media to put out content and updates all year long. There’s nothing like a beautiful picture of the beach or mountains where you are located to get your customers daydreaming about how nice it was the last time they saw you.