Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What is the value of free?

Hearts of Inspiration's Fairy "Courteous"

I knew it would take a while before people would get the concept. Boutique/Parties/Classes. Many times people would walk in the store and peek at the party/classroom, some would ask about it. I loved to invite them in because the reaction was always the same. "Oh my god this is beautiful"! I never got tired of hearing how beautiful it was.

Often people would comment on the fact that they didn't know it was there. That is a challenge all small businesses face because advertising is so expensive. Metro Parent would be a great place to advertise but ads the size of a business card are $395 per month with a minimum of 3 months, $1,200.00 was not in my budget.

Lots of ideas came my way, people recommended hosting a few free events to get people through the door. Ok. It is a form of advertising that targets my demographic. The first FREE event was a "Fairy Tea Party".  I hired a music lady, a fairy and a tea party caterer. Victoria from Victoria's Tea Salon was on board since she had just launched her business too! (I put her link at the below) Victoria does a beautiful job with presentation and her food is simply delicious. She brings the tea party to you!


I sent out 44 invitations to people I knew and some I didn't know personally, but they knew the other people that were invited. A tea party with food and entertainment. The invitation included Mom. What a nice way to spend a Sunday afternoon! Only 4 little girls attended. One was already a good customer. One I would never see again since she was the niece of an advertising rep who lived in South Lyon. Emily however, was the daughter of a reporter from Patch. They have been in to visit many times since. She is a great kid with great parents!

The other little girl is the sister of my son's baseball teammate. After the tea party her Mom contacted me about a gentleman's etiquette class for the three travel baseball teams. Ironically, I had been working on a class and thought it was a great way for me to break into that market! I put a flyer together for a two hour class on etiquette tips for young men. All of the things that our husbands were taught when they were growing up. Tying a tie, ironing a shirt, opening the door for ladies and allowing her to walk in front, standing up when a lady leaves or arrives at the table, handshakes and eye contact, introductions and other social graces that are important to their future! The class was two hours and included dinner for $20 per person.

We tried for six weeks to work with schedules to get it done but in the end, out of 39 players not one parent saw the value in the class...

Where will they learn these skills?

I did go on to try other free events with similar results...


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