Valentine’s Day opportunities for the creative business owner

Filipinos are a romantic people and Valentine’s Day is celebrated hereabouts with a flaire and  seriousness unequaled anywhere else.  We go the whole hog — flowers, chocolates, gifts, dinners, concerts, romantic hideaways.

As we celebrate with the people we love — our sweethearts, spouses, parents, children, friends — we also benefit businesses farsighted and ingenious enough to ride on the mood of customers determined to indulge their loved ones on this one special day.

Thus it has come to pass that among entrepreneurs — owners of stores, boutiques, restaurants, bakeshops, flower shops, cinemas, etc. — Valentine’s  Day has become very serious business.

From ehow.com and buzz.greatfxbusinesscards.com, here are marketing possibilities for the creative business owner.

1. Emails

Use emails to market your Valentine Day specials and start early, preferably by the first week of January.  Make sure you get separate email lists for men and women and send different specials to each group.  Put emails in a regular weekly rotation and issue reminders on when the cutoff dates are for getting product shipped out in time for V day.

2. Restaurants

On Valentine’s Day itself, restaurants tend to be overcrowded, with some even being forced to turn down customers.  In order to capitalize on the V season, restaurants may consider offering pricing specials the day before and the day after Valentine’s Day.  This strategy may help you increase your V Day business by encouraging your customers to dine on the days surrounding Valentine’s day.

3.Cupid Hunt

Retail stores will attract more customers on V day with fun games.  One very popular holiday game is an Easter egg hunt where management will have a large bin full of plastic Easter eggs with special coupons in them.  Some eggs have special pricing, from 10 to 75 % off select items.  On V Day, use the image of Cupid instead.  Have a large bin of envelopes with Cupid’s tickers on them, and put a special pricing coupon on each envelope.  Customers who do their Valentine shopping in your store get to pick one envelope per visit.

4. Inexpensive gifts

Offer a wide array of inexpensive gifts.  Put a single piece of chocolate in a decorative box and sell it for a bargain price.  These kind of selling ideas may also attract the attention of children who want to bring Valentine’s Day gifts to school.

5. Gift wrapping

Create a gift wrapping service for your store that will wrap people’s V Day gifts for them. This can be done for free to people who buy a certain amount of product, or you can charge a small fee for the service.

6.Pictures

Hire an inexpensive local photographer to come to your place of business and offer pictures of couples for free or a small fee.  Have a fun, lovey-dovey background for the pictures.  The pictures may be printed while they wait or may be emailed to the couple.

7. Organize a greeting card, love song or poetry contest with special prizes at stake (such as a gift certificate to your business and dinner for two at a local restaurant.) Start things going by January and announce the winner on Valentine’s Day.

8. Flowers – Give a long stemmed rose to every lady dining in your restaurant. It will thrill the feminine heart..  You can get the flowers — preferably as buds–  ahead of time when prices are not yet so steep from bagsakan outlets like the one at Dangwa and then store them in a cold place.

Regardless of how you wish to take advantage of the revenue Valentine’s Day brings in, be sure to advertise or promote whatever event you choose. Facebook the event.  Or use  twitter, plurk, your blog.  You may also wish to invest in a little air time or in an ad in the local newspaper to reach bigger audiences.

Photo 1: from http://www.flickr.com/photos/jupiterfirelyte/5447273082/sizes/m/in/photostream/

Photo:2  from media tumbler

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