The holiday season is a good time for a community campaign. It demonstrates your awareness of what’s going on in the lives of your clients and your commitment to improving them. It also allows you to emphasize the personal connection the community has with your store. Following are some key pointers for a successful campaign.
Plan a strategy. You need a well-thought-out plan of action. First set goals, and then list what must happen every week to meet each objective. Motivate your staff with a challenge, but think realistically. Depending on the size of your communities and stores, you may want more than one initiative.
We suggest rolling out a plan Thanksgiving week. With too much lead time, associates and community members can forget. Communication is essential. Display a goal chart in your store so associates and customers see your progress. Making a big deal of your successes can motivate clients to help you.
Appoint a team leader. Involve everyone, but put one well-organized person in charge. That provides consistency and helps with accountability. It’s best not to appoint a key salesperson, lest he or she be distracted from holiday selling. The most likely candidate is someone with operational experience.
Keep the cause local. Create a connection between your staff, your clientele, and your cause by selecting a project that helps a person or family in your community. Check with your staff to find out if anyone has a friend or family member who needs help, and get additional input from them to ensure that your team is invested in whatever you choose. To succeed, every team member must believe in the cause.
Get the word out. There are many free ways to publicize your campaign. Ask the local radio station to broadcast from your store. Ask your newspaper to donate a free ad or run a press release, and invite them to a launch event. Speak with the local news station about a television spot. Look for opportunities to partner with other local businesses and increase your presence throughout the community.
Be creative with donations. To keep the campaign on everyone’s mind throughout the season, use a few different methods to raise money. For example, collaborate with a vendor to find a nice piece or collection for which the entire cost goes to your cause. Vendors will often help offset your cost or donate inventory. Select jewelry that contributes to your fund raising in different price ranges so that everyone who wants to give can do so. Make it affordable for those on limited budgets and have nicer pieces of jewelry for those who can afford more. Select jewelry that reflects your store’s image. Consider donating a pre-established percentage of your profits on a select event night.
A charitable project will make your staff feel good and confirm to your clients that you know the importance of giving back. Those feelings will remain long after the holidays have come and gone.