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4 Apr 2022

Are you summer ready? Get ahead of the curve!

We may only be in April but now’s the time for successful independent businesses   to plan for the summer ahead and stay ahead of the curve. With the final easing of restrictions and the high street enjoying the increase in footfall it’s now your chance to get ready and deliver the perfect experience for your customers this summer.

Show your store the love - They say your eyes are the windows to your soul. Likewise, your retail window display is the canvas that paints the true picture of your business and gives your customers that crucial first impression. If your customers will be feeling summery in the coming weeks then match that feeling for them. Design your window with a summery theme, including your seasonal products/promotions.

Whilst you are sprucing that window up, show the rest of your business some love and give it a good spring clean.  Make sure it is spotlessly clean and welcoming both inside and out. Ensure your air conditioning or fans are in working order, a cool store/café/restaurant can be a big draw on a hot summers day.

Summer promotions / events - Plan and create a calendar now for any summer specific marketing or sales activity you plan on doing. Whether a summer sale, a join in with a seasonal or topical event (Jubilee) or the launch of a new product / menu. Make sure you diarise not just the event, but everything you need to get in place to ensure it’s successful.

·       When do you need to start promoting it?

·       What do you need to tell customers is happening and through what channels can you do it (email, social, leaflets, ads)?

·       Who else in your local community can you tell about it and how (local paper, business networks)?

·       What changes need to happen in store before launch?

·       How will you resource the event when it is happening?

·       When do you need to train your staff on what will happen and when?

Good preparation is the key to successful sales

In store events – We have all missed social interaction over the last couple of years so why not open up your doors with the return of the instore event! Who doesn’t love a fashion show, wine tasting, or book signing event. Choose dates now to make sure your event is a success.

Collaborative planning - Together everyone achieves. Look at collaborating with other local independent businesses, include combined offers such as lunch at your café/restaurant, drinks at the neighboring bar or discount voucher for clothing store/book shop/DIY. A great way to not only gain exposure to wider customer audience but also feel part of the independent community.

Community/local events – Highlights of a community summer include, festivals and street fairs that all contribute to increase footfall to your local high street. Plan ahead by checking the dates and look at ways of how your business can get involved.

Covid safe communication - Providing your customers with the confidence that you are following the latest Covid guidelines is vital to making them feel comfortable when shopping/dining. Let them know clearly what protocols you have in place. Bear in mind Covid is an ever changing situation, being agile in your approach and ensuring you have a ‘plan b’ in place means you can be nimble and make any changes quickly to ensure your business has minimal disruption.

Most importantly whatever the British weather brings, lets continue to build and support the thriving independent scene and enjoy the next few months ahead !

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