As the famous orator Grandpa Simpson once said, “Bah, Valentine’s is just another Hallmark holiday cooked up to sell cards!” Perhaps you’re with Grandpa in thinking that Valentine’s is just another noxious capitalist construct, or maybe you can see the cosy sweetness in the 14th February. Either way, one thing’s for sure: Valentine’s is an unavoidable holiday.
Valentine’s Day is worth $18.9 billion. So whether you’re Saint Valentine incarnate or you’d rather chew off your own arm than provide heart print gift wrapping, as a small business owner, Valentine’s is an occasion you should take advantage of.
It’s tough to do Valentine’s well. You know, in a nice, genuine way. But we’re here to help. Here are our top tips.
Don’t go over the top
Sure, Valentine’s Day is great for a lot of people. For others, it might be a reason to hibernate for 24 hours. Try not to be overbearing (which probably means keeping the storage container of love heart confetti at home).
Show some love to your customers
Valentine’s is about love and commitment, right? Show your appreciation to your lovely, loyal customers by giving them a handwritten card or little bag of chocolates. We reckon your team might appreciate the gesture, too.
Run a Valentine’s themed competition
Hold a lurrrve themed contest with a prize that works for couples. Running the competition through social media is also great way to promote engagement with your business.
For inspiration, United Airlines ran an excellent Valentine’s competition a couple of years ago. ‘Love in the Air’ encouraged people to share their stories of meeting their partners when travelling. And while you might not have the budget to provide the winners with two return flights, a meal for two or a coupon for your store is just as sweet.
As you already know, one of the perks of running a small business is that you can build up a great personal rapport with your customers. And yes, while it may leave a sickly sweet taste in your mouth to bulk buy pink ribbon, offering to gift wrap your products adds a touch of tenderness (and helps out the unprepared gift buyers amongst us).
Hold a Valentine’s party
This is where you can get creative. You know your customers better than us, so you know if they will prefer a party with all the amorous trimmings or a film noir style anti-Valentine’s bash. And at the party you can have a…
Valentine’s photo booth!
From our experience, if there’s one thing people like more like partying on boats, it’s posing in photo booths. Hire a booth for your party or make your own by piecing together a photographer (or a good camera), homemade props and a backdrop. Upload the photos to social media afterwards for people to share and tag.
Done right, Valentine’s doesn’t have to be contrived, mushy and full of guilt-tripping people with stock photos of enamoured couples. Take our ideas and make them your own – you know just what kind of Valentine’s Day promotions will set your customers’ hearts aflutter. Look through the rosy prism of love and use the day to engage with, reward and celebrate your customers. Lovely.
Spotcap can provide unsecured business loans to SMEs for such marketing purposes to help them capitalise through all seasons. Get in touch with us on 0800 444 540 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more.
Originally published February 13 2017 , updated February 13 2017