Get Ready for the Fall Lighting Season
Well here we are in the middle of August. Many of our customers are enjoying their summer vacations. Hopefully you have had a chance for some well-deserved time off. It is time to remind ourselves that the fall lighting season is just around the corner. This is a good time to begin to prepare for it. In this article we will talk about several ideas to prep for this time of the year.
Newsletters: Newsletters are a great way to stay in touch with your customers. They give that personal touch and let the end user know that you really care about them and their lighting system. Letters should contain a brief update about your company. Discuss the advances in the products you have been using and ones you are promoting. You may even offer a coupon for a discount for the first 10 customers to respond for fall service. My good friend, John Meadors, owner of MGM Outdoor Lighting in Tulsa, OK sends out these letters several times a year. John always sends me one as well to keep me up to date. As a personal touch he includes the paw print of his canine companion, Noelle. This ongoing outreach and communication with his customers is likely why John has been in business for over 45 years!
Seasonal Promotions: Look for summertime deals! Some of your distributers may be offering summertime deals on the everyday products that you use. This is a good time to stock up on lamps, fixtures, wire connections and cable. Many promotions are offered at counter events at the stores you frequent. There is nothing like getting an extra discount and a free lunch to boot. If you have a specific salesperson responsible for your account, schedule a meeting with them. They may be willing to provide additional discounts on bulk purchases. They may even be able to offer special terms for good standing accounts.
Get Organized: Juggling life and business can become overwhelming at times, especially if you offer more than just lighting. Being this busy leaves little or no time to keep lighting inventory in check. And you may not currently have an employee to whom you can assign this inventory task. During this time of year there are many people looking for summertime job opportunities. Teachers, seniors and college students often possess outstanding organizational skills. You can assign these part-time employees to go through any warranty items and return them to your distributer for proper credit. Doing this on a regular basis helps both you and your distributer. Your part-time employee can also organize and clean your product shelves and do an inventory count on all your products. Who knows, you might just find your next star employee!
Service Your Lighting Tools: Equipment such as voltmeters and cable tracers should have their batteries checked and replaced if needed. A dead voltmeter can be the beginning a frustrating service call. Check the condition of cable strippers and other tools for wear and tear. Replace any worn out tool. Some distributers announce a big tool sale in the fall. It may be a good time to replace these worn out items and receive some substantial savings.
Learn Something: Many lighting manufacturers offer training seminars at your local branch. This is a good opportunity to get out of the heat and learn about the latest products and design techniques. During these training seminars manufacturers may be offering some sample pricing on certain new products to be bought through your distributor. It is also a good time to get to know and begin a relationship with your local manufacturer’s rep. Interested in learning even more? Many manufacturers offer customized individual training for you and your staff. Education empowers you to do so much more!
Although the heat is upon us, relief is in sight. I wish you all a great and profitable fall lighting season.