A For Honesty, F for Marketing

“WE WILL NOW BE CLOSED ON SUNDAYS DUE TO LACK OF CUSTOMERS”


That is what the sign said in the window of a new barber shop around the corner from my house when I walked by with my dog last week. It’s a sign that has stuck with me since seeing it, even though it was gone by the time I came back the next morning.

The message is clear – they feel like they aren’t making any money on Sundays because they have no one coming in, which may be true. I have no problem with the concept, but as a marketer it pains me when I see a better solution to a situation than this. Here is the situation…

  • The barber shop opened less than three months ago

  • There was no banner or otherwise attention grabbing sign outside to announce its opening (just one door down from a hair salon I might add).

  • They were open 7 days a week.

  • I never received an announcement about their opening or why I should go there and only knew about it because it is on my morning walk.

Nothing stated above is that out of the ordinary, so maybe it is unfair to pick on this new local business. But at the same time, there is no magic to getting customers to try your business or understanding whether it is good or bad for you to be open on a Sunday. In fact, it seems that being open on a Sunday would be a competitive advantage.

Three simple tips for local businesses:

  1. Take the time to put flyers in the mailboxes of the neighborhoods you expect to draw from. They should announce your opening, your location, and the products/services you provide.

  2. If you have a competitive advantage, make sure people know. In this case, make a big deal about being open on Sundays or specializing in child haircuts. Perhaps offer a discount for the second child.

  3. Before you act rashly, give it time. Once people know you exist they may need to wait for the opportunity to use your services.

Or even simpler, model yourself after the new pizza delivery place that just opened near us. The shop offered a free large pizza promotion (pick up only), has a good product, and is now on the short list of places we’ll considering ordering from. It really is that simple some times.

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