January is coming, and for many businesses, the traffic cycle changes. Retailers, for example, tend to hate January because it’s so much slower than the previous two months and may generate a number of product returns. Some other businesses are back to normal because everyone is back to work, and serious (at least for a few days) about their New Year’s resolutions. Still others have a great January planned because their business cycle makes January a month of demand.
Whatever your business, consider having a “Sunset Sale” promotion at the end of January. Why? It helps people to think of you. Promote your sale during the entire month of January. Talk about it. Write about it. Tell your local newspaper about. Send a press release to someone at the Wall Street Journal. Have a pre-sale for your best customers. Cross-promote with other businesses to generate extra traffic and to share expenses for advertising, supplies, prizes, etc. Run your sale all night, or 24/7 for the last week of January. Invite people into your establishment for tea and cookies, coffee and donuts, or hot dogs and sauerkraut. If you’re on the internet, offer a free e-guide, or 30 minutes free consulting, or a list of unique links. Build your e-mail and snail-mail lists.
The key thing is, do something different, and do it at a time when no one else is doing something. That way you’ll stand out. Make people feel a little bit better about themselves because they see you hustling and making things happen. Don’t wait to have a Valentine’s or President’s Day Sale because everyone is promoting then. If you do your “Sunset Sale” well, you’ll have so much business in February, you won’t need to compete for share of mind.
Who knows what will happen? Any action during a slow business period is noticeable to your employees, your customers, your prospects, the press, etc. Just do it. It works. Try it, you’ll see.
P.S. You don’t need to name it a “Sunset Sale.” Make something up that’s catchy, that will make people notice. It could just as easily be a “Sunrise Sale” or whatever you want. Be creative, be outrageous, maybe even a little crazy.
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