Kelly Sharp is the owner of Heart of Iowa Market Place.
I've been writing in recent blogs about the importance of preparing early for the holiday shopping season, and I had one more thought before leaving the topic.
It certainly wasn't going to win any Academy Awards for acting … or screenwriting … or anything else, but the Will Farrell movie "Elf" did have a golden nugget that applies to specialty retailers. (Hint: it wasn't his quote, "We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.")
Farrell's character, Buddy the over-sized elf, said, "Treat every day like it's Christmas."
That's great advice, especially this time of the year.
Everything seems special during the holidays -- from the special treats and music to the hustle and bustle and spirit of generosity. But what happens in the dog days of summer? No holidays, no special music and no special treats. Just plenty of heat and humidity.
When I see my customers come through the doors sighing with a relief of being inside and out of the summer heat, I think about how we can make them feel as welcome and special. And, you should, too.
Always greet them at the door to show appreciation and a welcoming atmosphere. Customers appreciate it when you have something special, whether it's product samples or displays. Be creative. Mix things up. Give them a reason to get excited about your store and products.
As regular readers know, I'm a big believer in putting out samples and letting customers judge products for themselves. The results are two-fold. Customers are always happier and sales of sampled products always go up.
Put a little music on to drown out the dreary heat wave; don’t be afraid to show your employees that it’s okay to have fun.
There's always a reason to celebrate, and to treat every day like Christmas.