Back-to-school spending is at an all time high. For years, the biggest department stores and clothing retailers have dominated back-to-school promotions, leaving service-based businesses wondering how they can take advantage of the season. Sure, everyone needs new school clothes and fresh school supplies, but there are other ways consumers should be preparing for the school year. And you can be there to help out and cash in
For Personal Care and Lifestyle Services
Salons, spas and physical therapists can promote “your best self” opportunities for students, parents and even teachers during the back-to-school season.
- Salons and hairdressers – Nothing says “school-year ready” for kiddos like a fresh new haircut. Offer discounts on back-to-school appointments, and remind parents how important these haircuts are for helping kids feel first-day-of-school confident. Pro tip: Teachers also need all the help they can get before school starts each year. Offer them deep discounts on an updated look for the new school year.
- Spas – Now is the time to think about the parents. Schedules can be hectic trying to keep kids busy during the summer. Now that school’s back in session and things are a bit quieter around the house (during the day at least), it’s the perfect time for some pampering.
- Physical therapists – Help families get back into their self-care routine by offering sports packages for the kids and routine check-ups for parents and teachers.
Here’s how: Home mailers and automated texts and emails can help you get the word out to your contact list. Window clings can work wonders for those passing by your storefront.
For Healthcare Providers, Dentists and Fitness Services
Doctors, dentists and physical fitness businesses can get in on the offers as well.
- Doctors’ offices, pediatricians and primary care physicians – Now’s your time to push checkups, vaccines and athletic physicals for the kiddos whose schools require them to be all checked out and ready to go. Remind your clients to take care of these items before school starts so they can get in before the rush.
- Dentists – You should know how to get recurring appointments already, scheduling them early and sending automated reminders prior to each and every one. However, it’s no secret families can fall off the wagon when it comes to regular teeth cleanings and check-ups (guilty as charged). Use back to school as an opportunity to educate them on how important regular dental care is. Or, use it as a chance to do a braces examination — most students want to get those puppies over with before their high school years!
- Physical fitness providers and gyms – When I was a kid, most sports teams required once-a-week practices, and that was basically it. These days, I see kids of all ages hitting the gym multiple times a week trying to keep up with and prepare for hyper-competitive school athletic programs. Promote your personalized training services to help students prepare for whatever sports teams they’re eyeing, and help them get ahead of the game…literally.
Here’s how: Make sure you have a solid appointment-booking solution online, so clients can book at their convenience. Link to this solution from automated texts and emails, or direct clients there via phone. If you’re going after new clients, consider radio advertising in your local community, or post flyers on school bulletin boards and at other local businesses. (Remember to get all the necessary approvals first, of course.)
For Home Repair, Contractors and Cleaning Services
If your business falls into this category, you’re likely to stretch your brain trying to come up with relevant back-to-school promotional ideas. Don’t wrack your brain too much. We’re here to help.
- Home repair service providers – Now that the heat is fading away (unless you live in Texas, where it still feels like we’re dwelling on the sun’s surface), it’s your time to shine. During summertime, kiddos are harder than usual on things like wood floors and A/C units, so it probably took a toll on most families’ homes. Step up to the plate, and offer fall discounts on any annual services and check-ups you provide. No one wants to miss their kid’s first football game due to a leaky pipe or a broken-down A/C unit. Now that’s a touchdown.
- Contractors, handymen, plumbers, etc. – At first thought, back to school may not seem like the optimal time to tackle major projects at home. So it’s on you to help families understand that though they’re busy, back to school also means emptier homes and more room for renovations.
- Cleaning services businesses – Some families may take breaks from weekly or monthly cleaning services during vacations and other summer activities. Now that school’s back, families will have less time to take care of routine home cleaning. Lay it on thick with promotions during this time, and you’re sure to have some takers.
Here’s how: Ask yourself, “Are my online listings correct?“ and ensure your local search engine optimization is on point. When consumers don’t need your services as regularly, they’re less likely to be brand loyal. That means they’re searching online for local businesses like yours. If your business comes up first, you’ll be bringing in new customers left and right.