If you have a retail brick-and-mortar store rather a phone-based or Internet-based one, you need to get people into your store before you can sell to them. One way to do this is by offering free classes or seminars related to your business. You’ll want to reach both potential customers and regular customers. Most people want to learn new things, and who’s a better teacher than the person who runs the store?
You need the class or seminar to be convenient for many people to attend. Offer several different times to accommodate everyone’s schedules—days, evenings, and weekends. Plan this well in advance so people can get it on their calendar. Don’t forget to let people know about such classes or seminars by advertisement, direct mail, signs in your store, and so on.
It’s always nice to give a free sample of your product or a discount coupon to all who attend. You can also have someone who attends actually use the product in front of the class to show how easy it is.
If the seminar works well, you may want to consider holding it monthly or quarterly. It’s a way to pick up new customers at a low cost. Following are some seminar ideas you can consider for different types of business. If your business type is not listed, try to think of something similar that your customers would have an interest in:
- Florist. Simple flower arranging.
- Restaurant. How to make a unique dish or appetizer.
- Gas station. How to check oil, coolant, and washer fluid.
- Flooring store. How to lay tile, carpet, grout, and so on.
- Auto parts store. How to change oil, hoses, and spark plugs.
- Employment agency. How to write a professional resume.
- Sporting goods store. Tips on golf, tennis, or bodybuilding.
- Gift shop. Demonstration of unique imported items.
- Furniture store. Basic interior designs, drapes, and accessories.
- Clothing store. Current fashion tips or a fashion show.
- Hardware. Household repair tips and gadgets.
- Ice cream store. Cake decorating tips or making smoothies.
- Cleaners. Spot and stain removal.
- Banks. Investment strategies and special accounts.
- Homebuilder. Energy conservation and landscaping ideas.
- Bookstore. How to publish a book.
- Liquor store. How to mix exotic drinks or wine tasting.
- Beauty salon. Haircare, styling, and premium products.
- Computer store. Web search ideas and new games.
- Insurance. What type of insurance you need and how much to get.
- Photographer. Quick photography workshop.
- Music store. How to keep track of your favorite artists and new releases.
- Grocery store. Smart shopping and how to best use your coupons.
- Manufacturer. Plant tours and “how it’s made” demonstrations.
Another way to get the word out about seminars is to send press releases to all the newspapers, radio stations, and TV stations in your area. Specify that there is no charge for the seminar and everyone is welcome. Because what you’re offering is free, many curious people will probably stop by. These people may turn into loyal customers in the future.