Summer is traditionally a downtime for most businesses, but it doesn’t have to be. With your regular customers out of town throughout the summer months, there are many new people in town with whom you can do business. The task at hand is getting them in there and turning visitors into customers.
Establish a Plan
Whether you own a restaurant, a local shop, or another venture it is important to decide how attractive your business is to tourists. Likely a consulting firm won’t be the type of company that attracts tourists; however, a bar with local specialties is exactly the type of place that will do well. There are a number of things to think about while preparing for the summer rush, and it is important to put together a plan.
This plan should be comprehensive and written. It needs to address things like extra inventory, any extra staff that should be necessary, if you plan to have extended hours, new materials for serving the additional guests, and more. Any plan for summer should use the regional historical data to make decisions and estimate costs. You can usually get this information from the local visitors’ center.
Decisions on Marketing
One of the great things about modern marketing is the ability to use social media to target who sees ads and content based on where they are currently located. This means people visiting your town can see your posts. Social media isn’t the only way to reach visitors and tourists, and there are other ways to reach people unfamiliar with your brand.
It is also necessary to keep on top of reviews on websites such as TripAdvisor, Yelp, Zagat, and others. Visitors use this feedback from others to plan. You need to make sure that your business’ address, phone number, and photos of the business, and other important information are correct. Responding to reviews, both positive and negative, shows that you are engaged and care about your customers.
Get to Know the Concierges
The most effective way to direct customers to your business? Concierges. These are the people in hotels who help their guests plan their itinerary, decide where to eat and hang out, suggest activities, and more. They are the gatekeepers of local information and always know where the must go spots are.
One idea is to make discount cards (free drink, ½ off meal, free appetizer) with a code on it that is assigned to a specific concierge, and once so many of those cards are used at the restaurant reward the concierge with a meal or a few free drinks after work. Keeping the concierges happy will keep your business steady.
Know and love your business’ identity. Don’t try to be something you aren’t, and tourists will appreciate that you are authentically local. Target and McDonald’s are everywhere, but a local shop or restaurant is a treat that speaks to the local experience. This is something tourists treasure and remember as the highlights of their trips. You want to make sure that you are giving them a good memories of their vacation.
By putting together a plan for summers you can set yourself up for success and a reputation as a must visit spot for both locals and tourists alike!