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Every Monday at 6:42 a.m. and 8:42 a.m., Rob Gilligan provides information on what's happening in the area of regional development in Southeast Missouri. Rob is the President and CEO of the Cape Chamber.

Let's Talk Business: Preparing Your Business for Back to School Season

Jordan/Flickr, https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/

It’s August 1 and that means our attention is turning to the end of summer and the back-to-school season that is on its way. Now is the time for areas businesses to get prepared for this seasonal transition.

With students at all levels just a few weeks away from starting up another school year, the back-to-school season is underway and that means a shift in consumer activity and lifestyle. Here are a few tips for businesses to think about as you look to support the transition and generate some new activity.

First: Determine What Your Business has to offer consumers for Back-to-School

Schools’ supplies, clothing, athletic gear, and technology are easy to think about and plan for but there can certainly be many other products and services that can be relevant as students AND teachers return to the classroom. Do an assessment of your business and think about how you might be able to help make the transition easier or more enjoyable and focus on that.

Second: Prepare for the rush

Back-to-School season is pretty much a mad dash to get everything you need and be ready as families try to balance future planning with the last few days of summer. Making sure your business is appropriately staffed, accessible both in-person and online as well as stocked up is how you can best support your customers both new and returning.

Third: Think up a promotion

Discounts and savings are always a popular way to drive traffic but don’t overlook opportunities that don’t require you to decrease your margins. Creating packages that can make shopping quick and easy, offering delivery or shipping to eliminate the trip, or even just creating a welcoming space or event to draw in traffic can be just as effective a promotion.

Finally: Don’t forget to have a marketing plan

Working with your local media partners, your marketing team and using all your communication channels will be important to make sure everyone knows your ready for business this back-to-school season. Spread the word and have some fun.

Rob is the President and CEO of the Cape Chamber.