Independence Day: How To Ring In America’s Birthday In Your Small Business

Person holding american flag.

America turns 241 years old this July 4th, an opportunity for businesses to show their patriotism through sales and celebrations and its citizens to help keep the economy’s wheels in motion. Discount, parades, sweepstakes and more help the country ring in another birthday in style.

How does your company participate? Do you wonder if you can do more than put up a few balloons and streamers? Do you think you don’t employ enough people to do more than an annual sale? Do you want to do more but don’t really know how? Let’s walk through a few ideas that can help you show your American pride through company endeavors.

Show Your Colors

It seems like such a simple idea, but sometimes simple is just the way to go: Decorate your business, your displays, and even your people in red, white and blue. Streamers, balloons, bunting, each easily available in all three colors or, if you feel especially adventurous, in star-spangled varieties that will help show your business’s patriotic spirit.


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Have your employees show their pride through red, white, or blue shirts. If you use uniforms, custom-make shirts for the occasion in the colors; you might even support a small-time print shop in your own area to help pay it forward.

Showcase your business on your social media pages. Post pictures of your staff in their birthday best and of your set-up decked out for the occasion. Remember: It’s America’s birthday party, so have fun with things!

Share On Your Pages

You already use your social media pages to promote your business, right? (This is where you say, “Yes, yes I do.” Very good!) Well, think of this as an example of when you get to share even more.

Upload your images and ask your customers to do the same: Let them share the experience with you and your follows from their perspectives. Spotlight veterans in your organization. Ask your employees and, if willing, your customers, to record a small video of what it means to them to be American. Check out the Chicago Cubs and the club’s Way of Life promotion for a starting point.

Smiling african decent couple with their caucasian friend make barbecue at their back yard. Little african decent girl is in background

Who Doesn’t Love A Discount?

Fourth of July sales are nothing new; nor are these sales’ profits. Americans spent $6.8 billion on celebrations in 2016; the household average spent on food alone rang up more than $71 each!

One option is a store-wide discount on all items: You choose the rate. Sometimes you can play on the age of the country – 241 years, a 24.1 percent discount, for example – or you could use the date itself and scratch-off tickets. Four, seven, 17, and a whopping 76 percent off hidden beneath the Mylar. Again, you could help another local business out with these tickets.

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There’s always the option to remove sales tax on applicable items. Some states only tax general merchandise and not grocery items; others tax everything; five states tax nothing at all. For Colorado residents, the minimum savings would round out to 2.9 percent before any local amounts go into consideration. Californians would save 7.25 percent. Folks in Oregon would pay the same.

Another potential discount is for military personnel: Active duty, retired, reservists, and dependents, provided a valid military ID can be produced. Remember: Military personnel and their families helped ensure the survival of this country since before July 4, 1776. It may not seem much, but such an offer could be a nice thank-you gesture, not to mention one repeated on Memorial and Veterans Days, if not year-round. On average, these discounts tend to run between five to 10 percent.

Remember: It’s a celebration!

Don’t forget to find ways to enjoy yourself during the Fourth’s festivities, even if work-related! Take time to take part in some of your local community’s function: Help throw a cookout with neighboring businesses. Network with other SBs. Do a little face-to-face consumer marketing while you grill hot dogs and hamburgers. Sponsor a float in the town parade.

You could meet quite a few new customers with something as innocuous as a cookout: 80 percent of Americans plan to attend one during the holiday season; 63 percent will watch a fireworks display; 32 percent will go to a parade.

What if your local community doesn’t have a parade in place? Well, why not establish one? You would need to go through the proper channels of city or county government to start, and the work involved would include funding, volunteers, permits, and more, but the potential payoff? You would be seen as a contributing member of the community, both in business and in patriotism.

Just remember: None of these ideas can be thrown together at the last minute. Start your planning as soon as you can.

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Brian Sutter

Brian Sutter

Director of Marketing at Wasp Barcode
Brian Sutter is the Director of Marketing at Wasp, responsible for the development and execution of the company’s marketing strategy. His role encompasses brand management, direct and channel marketing, public relations, advertising, and social media. He also writes and speaks on topics related to helping small business owners grow their business and improve operational efficiency.
Brian Sutter
Brian Sutter