A few weeks ago, my friend’s son found $80 he didn’t know he had.
Apparently, when he left his job in August to go off to college, he didn’t realize he had one more paycheck coming.
Because the company didn’t have his new address, his check sat there…for 5 months. They were waiting for him to contact them with his new address.
When he never did, they mailed it to the address they had on file when they mailed his tax form.
Now while $80 isn’t a huge amount of money, I think you’ll agree that coming across unexpected cash is always a wonderful experience.
An instant cash surge can fund an event you really want to go to but thought you couldn’t afford. It can provide the money for something you’ve really wanted to buy. Give you an opportunity to invest back into your business so you can make even more money. It can relieve stress or be used to pay off debt. Or even do something completely frivolous you wouldn’t normally do.
Indeed, just about every business can benefit from a surge of cash.
The thing is…the cash is usually always available. In fact, it is just waiting for you to collect …from your own customer base. All you need to do is ask.
Here are a few ideas for collecting that money:
1) Counter-Season Programming. Many businesses slow their marketing during their slow season, thinking they are saving money. However, being slow is the perfect excuse for sending out a promotion. Plus you can create urgency by making a special offer that only lasts during your slow time.
This is an example home improvement company might use: “Are you looking to improve your home? If so, this month is the right time to buy. Why? Because, it is historically, a “slow month” for the home improvement industry. Therefore, I’m able to offer some special discounts and incentives to get you through the snow and over to our showroom.”
2) The Reason Why Sale. When you’ve built a relationship with your customers, sometimes all you need to do is give them a reason why you are having a special sale.
The reason why doesn’t really matter as long as you list one. It could be because you are moving… it’s your anniversary…birthday…end of season…”your accountant’s on vacation” or another special occasion.
As long as you tell them why, there will be a certain percentage of people who will take you up on your offer. (Tweet this!)
3) You’ve Already Won. This type of marketing is done to get people in your door. The idea is to offer some sort of free gift to your customers and all they have to do to get it is come to your store/location and pick it up.
Typically there are no strings attached other than that the customer must come inside your store to receive their gift.
This works well for two reasons. One, once there, they are more likely to purchase something. And two, because of reciprocity. The fact that you gave them a nice gift out of the blue often makes people want to return the favor by buying something from you.
Time-share companies do this all of the time when they send out postcards that say, “You’ve won a cruise for two.” The free cruise lures you to come tour one of their facilities and their only requirement is that you agree to speak with a representative and sit through their presentation.
The item you are giving away doesn’t even need to be related to your product or service. For example, a promotion might say something like this:
“While traveling, I picked up gorgeous handcrafted textiles made by single, impoverished women from XYZ country. The women sell these items to help create a better life for their children.
I was so impressed by the quality of their work and what they were doing, that I wanted to support them. However, I have no intention of getting into the import business, so that’s why I’m giving away these beautiful scarves, bags and yoga mat straps to my valued customers.
Right now you’ve already won one of these gifts. And there’s absolutely no purchase necessary to claim your gift. All you have to do is stop in this Saturday between 9:00 am -5:00 pm and bring this letter.
You’ll want to mention that while they are there you hope they will take a few minutes to check out what else you have in your store, etc.
So if you need some fast cash, don’t forget to ask your customers and soon you’ll have found money you didn’t know you had.
What types of promotions have you successfully used to create a cash flow surge in your business? Comment below.
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