Struggling Mattress Store

by 73 replies
Hey All,

I am the store manager of a struggling mattress store. We offer quality products, name brand (Serta, Simmons Beautyrest, Sterns and Foster, Tempurpedic) all new, and 10 year warranties on everything, and the products are the same if not less expensive then big box stores(Sears, Rooms to Go etc.). We are just a small business trying to make it.

The other locations(3 others) are pretty successful but this store (Which is next to a publix in a very populated area) just doesn't seem to get any traction.(It has only been open for 6 months, but they were hoping for more than 4 or 5 people in the store total each week by now) We do facebook ads regularly, and have recently added signs at all the Publix entrances along with big signs on the windows.(And a Chalk Sign right outside on the sidewalk with balloons attached) We have an up-to-date website, and even started going around to businesses to pass out discount cards to local business owners. But the owner is relying on me to turn the store around(I have been here for just over 1 month), and I just don't know what else to do. I suggested a mattress costume and I could go outside and wear it, till people came in but that could be a bad idea as well, I just don't really know what else to try. They have given me some money to spend on the store(Ideally less than $200)

My ability to sell the mattresses is decent(I have done sales for several years, though in the past I would see lots of people during the day), because they are all quality products and I can feel good about them, especially since the prices are truly fair, but I just can't seem to get people in the door.

Do any of y'all have any ideas. I have always relied on WF in the past, and have usually gotten some great advice with other things.

Thanks for anything you can think of. No idea will be discouraged!

P.S. The Store is locked in a 3 year lease so we can't just lock it up and try another location.
#offline marketing #mattress #store #struggling
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  • Profile picture of the author TP84
    Hi Goliathstwin,

    I'm only starting out in my own journey to help business owners, but my first question would be:

    Why should I come to your store to buy a mattress instead of going to one of the big box stores?

    I assume they also offer the brand mattresses, the 10 year guarantees, the similar prices etc. So what do you offer that will make me want to buy from you, rather than the big box store I'm so used to buying everything else from?

    I think if you can offer something here that no one else can,

    (I'm thinking off the top of my head here - maybe you can offer a bigger guarantee, maybe its free delivery on all your mattresses, maybe you give people the opportunity to return their mattress for up to 3 months if they don't like it and get a different one etc)

    then you can start promoting that selling proposition to get people coming into your store, and not the big boxes.

    What do you think?
    TP
    • Profile picture of the author Goliathstwin
      Originally Posted by TP84 View Post

      Hi Goliathstwin,

      I'm only starting out in my own journey to help business owners, but my first question would be:

      Why should I come to your store to buy a mattress instead of going to one of the big box stores?

      I assume they also offer the brand mattresses, the 10 year guarantees, the similar prices etc. So what do you offer that will make me want to buy from you, rather than the big box store I'm so used to buying everything else from?

      I think if you can offer something here that no one else can,

      (I'm thinking off the top of my head here - maybe you can offer a bigger guarantee, maybe its free delivery on all your mattresses, maybe you give people the opportunity to return their mattress for up to 3 months if they don't like it and get a different one etc)

      then you can start promoting that selling proposition to get people coming into your store, and not the big boxes.

      What do you think?
      TP
      Thanks TP84 for the response,

      I would say the best thing we can offer is excellent customer service, but I suspect almost every store will say they do the same. We do have about 40-50 reviews on Google and they are all 5 out of 5 stars so that is something. We offer a 120 day exchange policy where if they purchased a mattress they can exchange it in 120 days and swap to a different mattress, but I suspect other places have similar. We can't do free delivery as delivery makes up most of our cost on the inexpensive mattresses, and seriously would hinder our ability to sell the higher end mattresses.

      However, maybe next month we could start a big promotion, make signs and what not for FREE Sheets, FREE Frame, and FREE Delivery and post it on the glass at the front of the store, and see what happens. Either way thanks for the advice.
  • Profile picture of the author animal44
    Was any promotion done at the beginning - e.g. "grand opening day"?

    Who are your customers? Are your customers actually in the footfall? As an example opening a Gucci store in a poor area is unlikely to be successful...

    Take a trip to the other stores. Find out who their customers are. Find out who their most profitable customers are. If you can, talk to some of their customers. Find out why they're buying there. Find out what they like and what they don't like about the other stores.Then ask yourself, do these people frequent your area?

    If not, then you will need to attract people from further away. Or close the store.

    Once you know who your customers are, then you can target them more specifically.

    And/or set up JVs. JVs are great if you have low budget. Find what else your customers are buying and JV with the stores selling those products. You only pay when a sale is made.

    And also consider what else people need after buying your mattresses and JV with other stores selling those goods. These sales are all profit for you.

    $200 is laughable as an advertising budget. And I'm dubious that Facebook is a good place to spend your advertising budget.

    Oh, and take a read of Obvious Adams:
    The Story of Obvious Adams | Abraham.com
    Page 8 might be relevant :-)
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    Then it dawned on me...
    What I do for a living

    • Profile picture of the author Goliathstwin
      Originally Posted by animal44 View Post

      Was any promotion done at the beginning - e.g. "grand opening day"?

      Who are your customers? Are your customers actually in the footfall? As an example opening a Gucci store in a poor area is unlikely to be successful...

      Take a trip to the other stores. Find out who their customers are. Find out who their most profitable customers are. If you can, talk to some of their customers. Find out why they're buying there. Find out what they like and what they don't like about the other stores.Then ask yourself, do these people frequent your area?

      If not, then you will need to attract people from further away. Or close the store.

      Once you know who your customers are, then you can target them more specifically.

      And/or set up JVs. JVs are great if you have low budget. Find what else your customers are buying and JV with the stores selling those products. You only pay when a ale is made.

      And also consider what else people need after buying your mattresses and JV with other stores selling those goods. These sales are all profit for you.

      $200 is laughable as an advertising budget. And I'm dubious that Facebook is a good place to spend your advertising budget.

      Oh, and take a read of Obvious Adams:
      The Story of Obvious Adams | Abraham.com
      Page 8 might be relevant :-)
      Thank you animal44 for the reply,

      This Obvious Adams guy really knows what he's doing. I guess sometimes the most obvious answer is the best one.

      The other stores in this shopping strip are Subway, Pizza Hut, A local Chines Restaurant, a 3 dot alcohol store, Publix, an investment firm, Barber Shop, Kickboxing, and then us on the corner towards the busy intersection. After reading page 8, I think I might put out a giant RED Arrow sign that just points at our store that would be easily seen by everyone coming in from the intersection, and it can point to our storefront windows that mention what sale is going on. Also I should probably get in good with all the stores that are on my side of Publix as we are not food, and can only help each other.

      Thanks!

      P.S. As for the $200 I know isn't much but it's better than the last place I worked at for 3 years selling mattresses. It had a budget of 0 for me to make changes lol, so something however small, is better than nothing
  • Profile picture of the author DABK
    First reactions:
    you are in the wrong place (either because the people walking around are looking for something cheaper / more expensive or because your store is not easy to see when you walk/drive by)

    you need to advertise and $200 a month is not advertising, it's more like thinking about thinking about starting to start advertising.

    People often buy new furniture (mattresses, included) when they move. Make friends with real estate agents and home insurance agents, real estate appraisers and home inspectors. They often buy furniture when they refinance their homes, so make friends with some loan officers (not as good as real estate agents and insurance agents).

    Anyway, from what you said, it seems the problem is visibility.

    Like Animal said, what did the other store managers do to get it?

    To add to Animal's great advice, $200 will allow you to print some flyers for some nearby store for that store that's going to let you use part of the flyer for your store in their store. Let me rephrase, when I order pizza, the box has a flyer with a few offers on top. You can offer to pay the pizza place to print their fliers as long as they let you stick your info and offer there too. They stick the fliers with your info on every pizza box that goes out.

    By the way, you never mention if you have any offers they can't resist. You need one.
  • Profile picture of the author mojo1
    Several of the national brand named mattress companies you mentioned may have free co-op advertising money available for your retail establishment. Reach out to each of the product lines and ask if they offer any form of co-op marketing money.

    An example of co-op marketing on a larger scale:
    1. Digital campaign boosts in-store mattress sales | Furniture Today

    2. Co-op creative way to increase your advertising budget. | PNJ Media Solutions - Pensacola (This company will help you discover if there's any co-op funding available to your store. Check out the last paragraph)

    3. Get More Advertising Without Investing More Money!

    4. http://www.guntalk.com/uploads/Compa...ering_COOP.pdf (*one mattress brand listed, not sure if you carry this brand)

    5. MEGA Group USA - Categories ( The MEGA Group program includes attractive advertising co-op, national pricing schedule, volume rebates, and corporate circular support. It provides the dealer with a program to drive traffic in the store and increases sales in related categories.


    Please report back and let us know if any of these resources proved helpful to you.

    Good luck!
  • Profile picture of the author mojo1
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  • Profile picture of the author GordonJ
    Originally Posted by Goliathstwin View Post

    Hey All,

    I am the store manager of a struggling mattress store. We offer quality products, name brand (Serta, Simmons Beautyrest, Sterns and Foster, Tempurpedic) all new, and 10 year warranties on everything, and the products are the same if not less expensive then big box stores(Sears, Rooms to Go etc.). We are just a small business trying to make it.

    The other locations(3 others) are pretty successful but this store (Which is next to a publix in a very populated area) just doesn't seem to get any traction.(It has only been open for 6 months, but they were hoping for more than 4 or 5 people in the store total each week by now) We do facebook ads regularly, and have recently added signs at all the Publix entrances along with big signs on the windows.(And a Chalk Sign right outside on the sidewalk with balloons attached) We have an up-to-date website, and even started going around to businesses to pass out discount cards to local business owners. But the owner is relying on me to turn the store around(I have been here for just over 1 month), and I just don't know what else to do. I suggested a mattress costume and I could go outside and wear it, till people came in but that could be a bad idea as well, I just don't really know what else to try. They have given me some money to spend on the store(Ideally less than $200)

    My ability to sell the mattresses is decent(I have done sales for several years, though in the past I would see lots of people during the day), because they are all quality products and I can feel good about them, especially since the prices are truly fair, but I just can't seem to get people in the door.

    Do any of y'all have any ideas. I have always relied on WF in the past, and have usually gotten some great advice with other things.

    Thanks for anything you can think of. No idea will be discouraged!

    P.S. The Store is locked in a 3 year lease so we can't just lock it up and try another location.
    Maybe I mis read this. But, your boss owns three other stores? And they are successful?

    First off, HE already knows about C0-op ads, those namebrands make sure he does. Then, what research did he do? You saying he just opened a store willy nilly, threw a dart on a board? Where is his traffic count?

    And 200 bux for promotion? LAUGHABLE. Either he is an idiot and I'll be glad to tell him that or he is pulling a Trump, losing money on this one operation so he saves tens lf thousands in taxes depending on how he goes bankrupt.

    OR, we aren't getting the details. You may be the guy he blames so he can either close or try to weasel out of his lease, who signs a three year deal.
    without a lot of retail research?

    Show me a mattress store (other than the ones that make their own on location) who don't compete on price. Big boxes can carry their own credit, offer a better financing plan, but apples to apples, there is someone in your area killing you on price.

    GordonJ
  • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
    Hi Goliasthstwin,

    There is a *small* mattress company that is always kicking some goals here in Oz.

    You may want to study some of their material.

    Early on they branded their premium product as "Belissimo" and used a young attractive character as their voice in the marketplace.

    Every promotion they attacked one of the market leaders in subtle ways.

    The company - Makin Mattresses homepage-new - Makin Mattresses

    I would also suggest searching out some of Ewen Mack's older posts [Dr E Vile] in relation to marketing mattresses and beds.

    In some of his and other's observations in relation to purchasing a new bed the purchase occurred shortly after a vacation.

    Logic is that people have slept on a new (or comfortable) bed whilst on vacation and upon returning home they find their bed less than adequate.

    You might like to look at local travel agents for leads.

    You might want to look at buying leads from reputable list brokers [think acxiom.com] who can give you the returning vacationer market. People who have recently travelled and are 55 years plus. - They deserve a new bed now that the kids have left home and they now have money to spend on their comfort.

    Focus your attention.

    Contact the ideal prospect.

    Grabbing attention isn't really the right approach.

    Approaching the right prospect might work better.

    Best regards,

    Ozi
  • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
    Originally Posted by Goliathstwin View Post

    Hey All,

    I am the store manager of a struggling mattress store. We offer quality products, name brand (Serta, Simmons Beautyrest, Sterns and Foster, Tempurpedic) all new, and 10 year warranties on everything, and the products are the same if not less expensive then big box stores(Sears, Rooms to Go etc.). We are just a small business trying to make it.

    The other locations(3 others) are pretty successful but this store (Which is next to a publix in a very populated area) just doesn't seem to get any traction.(It has only been open for 6 months, but they were hoping for more than 4 or 5 people in the store total each week by now) We do facebook ads regularly, and have recently added signs at all the Publix entrances along with big signs on the windows.(And a Chalk Sign right outside on the sidewalk with balloons attached) We have an up-to-date website, and even started going around to businesses to pass out discount cards to local business owners. But the owner is relying on me to turn the store around(I have been here for just over 1 month), and I just don't know what else to do. I suggested a mattress costume and I could go outside and wear it, till people came in but that could be a bad idea as well, I just don't really know what else to try. They have given me some money to spend on the store(Ideally less than $200)

    My ability to sell the mattresses is decent(I have done sales for several years, though in the past I would see lots of people during the day), because they are all quality products and I can feel good about them, especially since the prices are truly fair, but I just can't seem to get people in the door.

    Do any of y'all have any ideas. I have always relied on WF in the past, and have usually gotten some great advice with other things.

    Thanks for anything you can think of. No idea will be discouraged!

    P.S. The Store is locked in a 3 year lease so we can't just lock it up and try another location.

    I've worked with mattress store, promoting them online. No, you can't afford me...you'll have to do this yourself;

    Get a video camera, create lots of short videos, showing the features of your different types of mattresses. Upload these videos to Youtube.

    In the title of the video, be sure to use the words; Mattress, (brand of mattress), your City and State. This is important, or your videos won't show up in the Google searches.

    These videos are not ads, they are product demonstrations. Make sure the phone number and city is at the end of the video (along with store name)


    Right now, in your town, every day, there are people shopping for a mattress. They just don't know you exist...and they don't know what you sell. And they are going online to find a place they can buy what you sell.

    When people go online to buy something (or get information on a product they want to buy) they are going on Google and Youtube. They are not searching on Facebook, friends groups, forums, and other social media. You need your videos on Youtube, because Youtube videos show up in local searches...as long as the city and state are in the title and descripton.

    These videos will be seen by more people than your Yellow Pages ads, will be virtually free, and will stay online forever.


    I own a retail store. This is the single most profitable thing I do to promote my store. Here's an example;

    • Profile picture of the author animal44
      This comment raised a smile...
      Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

      I own a retail store. This is the single most profitable thing I do to promote my store. Here's an example;
      Let's look at some figures...

      That video has just short of 9,000 views.

      I think I'd be generous in guessing that 10% of those view turned into sales - 900 sales in 6 years.

      Last year I did a single JV deal where we made over 38,000 sales in around a month.... If you combine the other deals we did, then easily double that figure...

      Single most profitable thing...?

      Goliathstwin, learn how to put together JV deals with other businesses. It's the single most profitable thing you can do... by far.

      JVs have made me rich. And in the process have provided exponential growth for my clients... In 39 years in business, I've never found anything that comes close...
      Signature

      I stayed up all night trying to figure out where the Sun went.
      Then it dawned on me...
      What I do for a living

  • Profile picture of the author sunsetcoder
    For such marketing you should concentrate on local market first, you should use fb specially and try to post it using local friends group and ask them to share. News papers advertisements and pamphlets are good option for you too
  • Profile picture of the author Goliathstwin
    [DELETED]
  • Profile picture of the author ewenmack
    What Claude demonstrated is being in the right place when people are ready
    to buy and go looking.

    Another place to get em' when they are ready but aren't looking,
    is when they have returned home after staying in hotels.

    Why?

    Because it's most likely their mattress isn't as comfy as when
    they stayed at a hotel.

    I mentioned this to a friend and it was true from his experience because his wife had recently got home and complained about their bed at home and wanted a new one.

    But how do we find these people?

    Facebook.

    You can put an ad in front of those who recently returned home
    from different types of travel who live in a radius of your location.

    Having a spot on message when your market is ready to buy is key.

    Best,
    Ewen
  • Profile picture of the author Goliathstwin
    This is a lot of awesome stuff guys. Thank you all so much! I am trying to put together a video like you suggested Mr. Whitacre. GordonJ I don't really know how successful the other stores really are. I pulled up our numbers in the past year and 1 store is stellar but it has been there for many years, however the other stores are only slightly(a few thousand in sales) more than mine, so maybe it seems like we are doing horrific when actually it's only slightly less than average.

    The boss has offered me a commission instead of salary to boost my motivation to sell, though I have been trying very hard as it was, of course that requires me to get people in the store, or do it over the phone. I may try to cold call, but I don't want to come off as spammy.

    All great ideas everyone, just trying to take one, run with it for a while, and if it doesn't work will try more later. The boss already likes videos so I figure Mr. Whitacre's approach may be best for the now, and we shall see where it goes from there.
    • Profile picture of the author mojo1
      Originally Posted by Goliathstwin View Post


      The boss has offered me a commission instead of salary
      Is this legal in your state? You may want to check with your local Department of Labor or other legal professional. .
  • Profile picture of the author Goliathstwin
    No I can't sell the business, or even this store, just trying to make ends meet as a manager of the store. I have started to take several pieces of advice, and it's very encouraging to know of people who have done it successfully.

    Animal 44 you mention Joint Ventures. I have approached business owners and suggested their customers could get 10% off a mattress and our customers could get 10% off kickboxing(It's next door). Are there any resources you personally know of that would boost my knowledge on JV. Sometimes it's hard for me to sift through what's good, and what's only an interesting idea, but hasn't been tried. Thankfully all the advice here on this thread has been EXCELLENT! Again thank you all, I greatly appreciate it!
  • Profile picture of the author FuNwiThChRiS
    You need a serious marketing budget to move the needle...

    Then, do the following:

    Who is your target audience? Local homeowners.
    What do they want? Great price. Great mattress. Easy Delivery / Convenience.
    Why should they buy from you? Price? Free delivery? Etc...
    What will get them in the store? Hint: It's not kick-boxing lessons... Try a One Day Only Sale or maybe Donate to Local Charity
    How will you reach them? You need a one-to-one marketing channel. I'd suggest a giant postcard or flyer sent via Every Door Direct Mail. That way you can completely saturate the neighborhoods that your business depends on.

    You've got to get a serious plan and a serious budget to make this happen.
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    Work hard, live a happy life, cherish your family and friends. Be thankful for every day.

  • Profile picture of the author Goliathstwin
    Claude your videos are awesome. I made an intro video based on your example, and the boss liked it enough that he is going to provide a camcorder so that I can re-record it and start filming higher quality and increased content videos.
  • Profile picture of the author animal44
    Originally Posted by Goliathstwin View Post

    Animal 44 you mention Joint Ventures. I have approached business owners and suggested their customers could get 10% off a mattress and our customers could get 10% off kickboxing(It's next door).
    As FuNwiThChRiS says, there's not really a close association with Kickboxers, so unlikely to be very successful. (I suppose they might want a mattress to fall on... )
    You really need to examine who is buying and why. And then break that even further into who out of those you want as customers - who buys the most with the least hassle...
    Then find associated businesses who have those customers.

    I don't desperately look for just any customers, I look for ideal customers - the most profitable, the easiest to deal with, the easiest to sell to... When you make a compelling offer to a targeted audience, sales come easily...

    Also remember that you can JV with others to sell their stuff to your own customer base (when you get one). These are very profitable because you have no fulfilment costs.

    And there doesn't necessarily have to be an exchange of money. I got me a supercar from one of my deals... We often do deals to get a bonus to give away, where no money is exchanged...
    Originally Posted by Goliathstwin View Post

    Are there any resources you personally know of that would boost my knowledge on JV.
    I don't think much of the few courses out there. The guys who are best at JVs are making so much off them, that making a course isn't worthwhile.

    I've been trying to make one - I'm recording sessions with my proteges and trying to turn that into a course - and it is coming along, but don't hold your breath...

    The only resource I'd recommend is Jay Abraham. Not so much a course but lessons in creative thinking. I learnt about JVs way back - 1977 - but it wasn't until I came across Jay Abraham a couple of years ago that I really expanded my thinking. As an example, I'd never have thought of collaborating with competitors... that was pure Jay Abraham...

    Here's his 50 shades of Jay. Not just about JVs but all Jay's marketing philosophy. His protege course (you need to pay for that...) goes into stuff more deeply. Sign up for his newsletter. You'll get additional free stuff. And his Youtube channel.

    And don't forget Obvious Adams (not about JVs, more about marketing, and it's fiction BTW) - It's rumoured that Jay Abraham requires all his employees to read Obvious Adams 10 times before they're allowed to do any work...

    Ultimately, with JV's, best way to learn is just to get out there and do them. That's how I learnt...

    Originally Posted by Claude Whitacre View Post

    I know the only reason you are here is to help.
    Nah. my raison d'etre is to annoy you, Claude.
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    • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
      Originally Posted by animal44 View Post


      The only resource I'd recommend is Jay Abraham. Not so much a course but lessons in creative thinking. I learnt about JVs way back - 1977 - but it wasn't until I came across Jay Abraham a couple of years ago that I really expanded my thinking. As an example, I'd never have thought of collaborating with competitors... that was pure Jay Abraham...

      Here's his 50 shades of Jay. Not just about JVs but all Jay's marketing philosophy. His protege course (you need to pay for that...) goes into stuff more deeply. Sign up for his newsletter. You'll get additional free stuff. And his Youtube channel.
      I also recommend Jay Abraham's book Getting Everything You Can Out Of All You've Got. It talks about joint ventures, and has a nice chapter on Telemarketing, and how it can multiply sales. You can get the book on Amazon.com for about a few dollars now.

      As an experiment, for a speech I was giving, I decided to call a list of customers cold...on the phone..and invite them in to see my new vacuum cleaner models.

      I don't enjoy talking on the phone (or really talking to customers at all), but I slogged through a couple hours a day, over several days.

      I don't remember the exact figures , but it was several hundred dollars in profit per hour spent on the phone. Maybe $500 an hour.

      Now, These were customers that knew me, trusted me, and welcomed my call. These weren't cold calls.

      But years ago, I would call customers of competitive companies (they gave me the list, and I paid them per sale), and made plenty of sales that way.
  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    I think my first focus would be on businesses that buy more than one mattress, like hotels, motels, hospitals, senior living centers, time shares, rental agents and furnished apartments. At the very least, make sure every similar business in your area knows you exist. Isolate the decision makers for each and make sure they receive a personalized mailing at least once a month.

    You can also try the "coffee mug trick". Once you isolate the decision makers at your targeted businesses, go to a site like CafePress and get custom coffee mugs printed with your branding and contact info and give them as gifts to the decision makers. Make sure you give them good quality mugs that they'll actually use. Keep your business in front of these folks as much as possible.

    I would do some research and find out when National "holidays" are...there has to be something like "National Good Sleep Day". Send out info-packed press releases around these dates, especially to local media outlets.

    Sign up at www.haro.com, which is "Help a Reporter Out" and become the go to expert on sleep and mattresses.

    JV with moving services. Have them hand out flyers for you and you do the same for them.

    JV with chiropractic, massage and therapy services. People with backaches probably need a new mattress.

    Do you sell pillows? Be a snoring and head ache problem solver. I used to get migraines 2-3 times a week until I switched to a memory foam pillow.

    Can you create some type of charitable program that gives reconditioned mattresses to local charities and people of need? If so, create a media campaign around this.

    Possibly consider some type of "barnumizing", named after PT Barnum. This is where you make something so outrageous it draws attention. Think of the Oscar Meyer "Weiner Mobile". This concept may conflict with some of the other strategies I posted, so give it some thought, but if those things don't work, see if you can't do something to attract attention. Is there some kind of "stunt" that can be done with mattresses that you can do to get local press coverage?

    Learn local SEO and make sure your website ranks well for mattress stores in your area. This includes "citation management".

    Network with other local business owners through the Chamber of Commerce and organizations like Toastmasters.

    How about teaching about things like bed bugs and dust mites? Can you JV with a Dr. that specializes in allergies? Do you have hypoallergenic mattresses, bedding and pillows? How do you protect mattresses from bed bugs? Write articles for local media and go on local radio/tv to discuss these things.

    Can you sponsor a youth sports team, like a Little League or youth soccer team? See which local leagues have their scores posted in the local papers so you can get publicity for your store that way.

    How about a refer-a-friend program where you pay people $10-20 for each friend they refer that buys a mattress? Include their name on a coupon where the customer also gets a discount to help track results. Get some really cool and unique business cards that really stand out so people will pass them around.

    Advertise on Craigslist. Learn the limits and post photo ads as often as you can. Include good sales copy with calls to action to call you or come in. Create urgency with time limited deals and coupons. Are there other local classified ads in your area?

    You need some kind of branding in place to use everywhere you can so people will remember you as you advertise and promote in various places. People buy from businesses they are familiar with. Branding can be colors, a logo and maybe a mascot.

    Ask everyone that comes into the store how they heard of you so you can get an idea of what's working.
    • Profile picture of the author animal44
      Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

      I think my first focus would be on businesses that buy more than one mattress, like hotels, motels, hospitals, senior living centers, time shares, rental agents and furnished apartments. At the very least, make sure every similar business in your area knows you exist. Isolate the decision makers for each and make sure they receive a personalized mailing at least once a month.
      I don't know the mattress market that well, but I would think hotels, motels, hospitals, senior living centers, time shares, rental agents would buy from specialists rather than retail outlets...

      Shouldn't stop OP from enquiring, of course...

      I'd be looking for large groups of individual buyers. I'd think Chiropractors, as back pain can be caused by a poor mattress... Talking to the other stores should give OP more clues as to who he should be looking for...
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    • Profile picture of the author Oziboomer
      Originally Posted by Kurt View Post

      Possibly consider some type of "barnumizing", named after PT Barnum. This is where you make something so outrageous it draws attention. Think of the Oscar Meyer "Weiner Mobile". This concept may conflict with some of the other strategies I posted, so give it some thought, but if those things don't work, see if you can't do something to attract attention. Is there some kind of "stunt" that can be done with mattresses that you can do to get local press coverage?
      Reminds me of two things.

      Evil Knievel.

      and of a guy that wrapped himself in five and a half rolls of 60" bubble wrap and threw himself off a 30 foot cliff to prove he'd survive.

      Not that I'm advocating this idea but there could be a media angle to leverage the products.

      You might not want a monster truck driving over you whilst sandwiched between two mattresses but a couple of kids on BMX's pretty much simulates what every parent with young kids goes through every other night so you could get some traction on social media with that idea.

      There are so many promotional ideas you could try out.

      I remember a sleep-in promotion back in the 1980's when Richard Branson just opened Virgin records and he put some people in the window of the store sleeping in public and they remained there to try to break a record or something.

      You could run a promotion where you took an X percentage off up to a certain amount if someone who needs a bed would attempt the world record for not falling asleep or for not lying down on the bed in question etc.

      You could get a large amount of free publicity using something along those lines.

      Heck...Claude calls me "Capt. Boomerang" because I have the World record for the World's longest throw of anything - happens to be a boomerang (427.2m - 3 football pitches+)

      I leverage that record over and over when I need to.

      You could hold a celebrity sleep over for charity.

      You could give out "swags" for homeless. . .anything that is good and will generate publicity.

      Something you can sit well with as a company but will boost your profile.

      Partner up with an anti-violence organisation to top violence against women. We have White ribbon day here in Australia. Perhaps you can have. "White Mattress Night" where men show their support against violence.

      Best regards,

      Ozi
  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    Somethings I don't understand...why does a retail business have basically zero money budgeted for marketing and promotion? This is a very common mistake. IMO, businesses should allocate 10-20% of their budgets for marketing. If you don't have money for marketing, then you probably don't have money to start a business Marketing shouldn't be considered spending, it should be considered an investment.


    The other issue I have, and this ties in with my first, is why is this store considered "separate" from the others? How come this store gets $200 a month for marketing that's separate from the other 3 stores? Why not create marketing campaigns funded by all 4 stores to promote all 4 stores?


    For example, if it were me and I was creating ads for Craigslist, I'd include addresses for all 4 shops in my ads.
  • Profile picture of the author Kurt
    Here's a couple of more suggestions for JVs:

    Team up with interior decorators as well as bed and bath stores for cross promotion.

    Create a FB group and fan page, as well as a Youtube channel for the local area. Add content like the "5 best hamburgers", "5 best things for kids to do"...the number of things that can be rated is just about endless. Then add something like "Sponsored by Matt's Mattresses" to each. Everyone in your local area that sleeps is a potential customer and this offers a good opportunity for branding. It also encourages engagement with people who will want to add their own recommendations.
  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    I find it hard to believe a business owner would struggle with one store while they have other successful store locations.

    The owner needs to bring in all the other management from the other stores and turn the store around so it's profitable.

    Don't make it difficult by guessing. You already fave facts and experience in each of the other stores. Stop wasting your resources.
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