Does anyone run a place in a resort or vacation town? How do you promote your business in the off seasons? I have the opportunity to take over a place on the beach. Population is 340,000 during the months of May-September. Off season it is 45,000 annually.
Our town is seasonal, though not as big and without quite the drastic fluctuation. We do as much as we can to be involved with the community. Every Monday we donate 10% of our sales to a different community organization or school fundraising event. The good-will it has brought us is more valuable than any advertising we do. Every October, we run some sort of really good special to thank the locals for their support and patience during the busy summer months. As a personal project, I have started a “buy local” fundraiser for the elementary school where kids sell gift cards to different local businesses. Each business agrees to donate 20% of the sales back to the school. It is a win-win situation, as the schools are making money and we are bringing in new customers and getting a big chunk of cash (and a tax write-off) during the slow months.
We think of our locals as our bread and butter and treat them as such, but we sure do love it when the gravy is in town!