Come In … We’re Open!

How to Generate Passive Income That Builds Traffic for Your Store
by : 

Megy Karydes

May 11, 2015
Marketing Mondays - Come In … We’re Open!

As gift and home retailers, wholesalers, and designers, most of us work in a particular space, whether it’s a retail store, warehouse, or studio. We’re paying for that real estate 24/7 whether or not we’re using it. Why not invite people into your space to host events, classes, or fundraising nights? Let me be clear—these aren’t events you’d be responsible for planning. You’d simply offering up your space to others who are in need of space and/or want to raise money by partnering with you.

A restaurant near my home does this regularly with great success. While the chef and his team are busy preparing for the evening in the kitchen—chopping, slicing, and prepping—the rest of the restaurant, complete with tables, chairs, and a quiet environment, was going unused. What they’ve done is rent out their dining area for about $50 an hour. A friend of mine who conducts small classes (6-8 students) pays the chef to rent the space for a couple of hours each week to host her class. Her group simply needed a quiet space with a table and chairs—they’re not expecting (or wanting) a meal, so service isn’t an issue, and the chef makes $100 for simply letting them use the space. Not a bad trade, right?

If you have a retail store, can you move around some displays easily to allow your community to host a monthly book club? Or knitting circle? Unlike a girlfriends’ night out event that you would organize and promote, someone else does the organizing. You’re benefiting from traffic that otherwise wouldn’t come in after hours, and if it’s a regular gathering, more than likely those attendees are going to come a wee bit earlier than the planned event to get some shopping done, too.

Another option that can bring traffic (and sales) is to allow community nonprofit groups to organize fundraising days. Unlike donating product to a charity, allowing donors/ supporters to shop for whatever they want and making a donation to the organization is a win-win for everyone. You get customers through your door, they buy things they want/need and support their nonprofit organization through your donation.

What other creative ways can you use your retail or wholesale space to attract customers?

Megy Karydes is principal of Karydes Consulting, a boutique marketing and communications firm and freelance writer who often covers retail for various magazines. She likes her calendars, whether digital or on paper, and has her editorial calendar pinned to her board in her office to remind her what day it is! Find her on Twitter at @megy.