Retail is tough. Especially for smaller brick and mortar stores as you continue to try to compete with the forces of globalization and Internet retailers. I get it. In fact leveling the playing field for small businesses was the key reason I developed our eCommerce platform.
While much of the world would love to tell you that Brick & Mortar stores are doomed – I call BS. The fact remains that you have strategic advantages over Internet companies because you have a physical location and a community presence.
If you take these ideas and bring them to your Internet presence you’ll be able to share the spunk that built your company with the rest of the world.
The fact remains that there is still a strong (and growing) desire for people to shop local and shop small. With the political factors surrounding big box chains and the lack of service – shoppers are heading back to small businesses to get the respect & quality that they want and deserve.
One major issue for all small retailers is finding a way to drive revenue to keep the lights on. Many people worry about bringing in customers to simply shop with their store.
I’m here to tell you that there are likely other ways that you can drive revenue for your business that add value to the community, help you build a stronger brand, and drive sales through building a stronger relationship with your community.
Unique Ways to Build Revenue for Brick & Mortar Stores
1) Offer educational workshops. There are probably a lot of interesting things that you can teach the community right from your store. Think about classes that you can offer to the public in order to help educate and drive additional revenue. Look around your building to utilize the assets you already posses in a new way. If you’re savvy enough you can actually film these courses and turn them into online educational workshops as well. It’s a value added service that will drive new traffic in that may not have ever heard of you before.
2) Get involved in Children’s education. This can be especially great for helping parents who homeschool their kids or who are looking for after school activities. Think of ways to help educate kids and bring more people to your store. Bring in special speakers to help kids learn new things – their parents will love it and who knows you may just inspire the next great mind through your work.
3) Give tours of your business. A lot of my clients don’t really think of this because they’re not sure they have much to offer in the way of tours. My family’s business offers tours and gets them hosts them quite often. It’s a great way to show what they do and the community loves to be a part of it.
4) Rent your space after hours. Even if you don’t want to utilize your space during the after hours you’re still paying for it. Rent your space to other businesses or educational services to use when you’re not at the office. It’s a great way to supplement income and get people to your location.
5) Host community events. Most brick & mortar store owners have causes that they believe in and often they’re in line with their business as well. Host a fun party or a charity event for the community. It’s a great way to give back to the community, raise awareness for your business, and you can also keep the shop open during the event.
The real moral of the story here is that you need to find ways to get involved with your local community. The more ways that you can do that by bringing people to your location the better. Traditional advertising can be expensive and the ROI is often difficult to measure.
By getting involved in your community and bringing people to your business location you’ll be able to build a much stronger relationship with the community around you and it will pay dividends for years to come. Building a strong relationship with your community and customers is the key to building a strong and lasting business.