Creative Fall Event Possibilities

By Tony Hoty

It's early October, so the leaves are starting to fall and Halloween decorations are popping up with frightening regularity. This means many families will be heading to their local nursery or garden center to buy pumpkins or purchase whatever they need to assist with the autumn clean-up in the yard. Due to this increased foot traffic at the nurseries and garden centers combined with the human nature to button up the home for winter, opportunity lurks like a ghost in the graveyard.

My clients and I had success striking up short-term events with local nurseries and garden centers. I helped many home improvement contractors develop a partnership proposal that gives the opportunity to set up a table with displays and exhibits in high traffic areas of the local nursery or garden center. This gives them the chance to generate leads from a steady stream of homeowners in an exclusive environment. Best of all, this helps supplement an event calendar that is likely in dire need of new venues, since many of the fairs and festivals start to disappear like phantoms in the autumn dusk.

Developing new partnerships with local retail stores is an excellent idea any time of year, however, it is particularly effective in the fall when lead flow can start to slow down. The demographic of people shopping at these venues is primarily homeowners and they often have lots of disposable income if you pick the right location.

Another great benefit to marketing in this fashion is maintaining and retaining key staff members. It is a shame to lose good marketers because your event calendar can no longer support their hours. By developing some of your own events at venues like nurseries, you can keep your keep people busy so they do not start looking elsewhere for employment.

So, don't be afraid of the scary unknown. Consider developing some retail store partnerships to help subsidize your lead flow this fall. If you don't, your sales numbers may end up haunting you all winter long.....



OPINION: Standing, Kneeling, or Dealing

By Tony Hoty

No matter where I turn, I seem to see and hear news and discussion about the NFL players decisions to stand or kneel during the playing of the National Anthem. The current news media and social media alike are an amazing display of opposing views, entangled in rigorous debate. I am not writing this piece because I have an opinion one way or the other. In fact, I am writing to share a third alternate perspective that I find to be much more valuable for business owners and entrepreneurs.

It seems that those who are pro-stand could have a bit of an agenda. By making a big deal of their patriotic stance there are groups of people who stand to benefit. If you are in the military and want to increase morale or inspire potential recruits to enlist, you may be highly motivated to share all the best reasons why someone should respect the flag and stand proud during the Star-Spangled banner. By the same token, if you want to promote free speech or want to raise awareness for a particular cause, you may see value in taking a knee.

As a business owner and entrepreneur, it is my job to ignore all this noise and focus on the opportunity. At the end of the day, that is all that matters - how do I monetize?  The news channels need you to have an opinion, so you watch their coverage. The NFL wants you to have an opinion so you will tune in for kickoff and stay locked in your seat. The advertisers however, don’t care which side you are on, as long as you are watching because that is how they sell their ad space.

It seems that those selling the advertising are in the ultimate position, because the opinions don’t seem to matter to them. They are laughing all the way to the bank regardless of political views. Isn’t that the way it should be in business? The ones on the right side of the fence, the ones on the left side of the fence, and then the ones doing all the selling…

So, as you scroll through your social media feed and see all the banter about standing or kneeling, ask yourself, who is dealing? Is there an opportunity for me to create a marketing campaign that would capitalize on the current state of affairs? Can I develop a temporary promotion or slogan that will help me capture the attention of those who are so polarized by the current climate of pop culture? These are the questions that successful entrepreneurs ask themselves, while the feeble-minded consumers are too emotionally charged to keep an eye on their wallets. If you want to rise above the herd and profit in the process, my advice is don’t stand, don’t kneel, just deal.