Winter Weather Impacting Your Business? Ways to Warm Up Customers and New Opportunities

wINTERCOUPLE_CM9W9UHKKKExtreme winter weather is impacting business. Not only do entrepreneurs have to deal with the actual assault of storms, it is an extra effort to get customers into the mood to spend. Many restaurateurs are experts in finding creative ways to entice customers out of their cars and homes into businesses during winter.

Why are successful restaurants so great at winning customers in winter? They have a lot of experience. Every year, after the winter holidays many customers resolve to lose weight, save money, or even give up on going out. These popular resolutions have prompted restaurateurs to find creative ways to attract new guests.

wINTER_TROPY_TRCKTBXVXSSlashing prices on the menu isn’t the first choice for most restaurants because it cuts profits. Instead, special opportunities for guests and personalized promotions are very popular for many hospitality businesses.  These custom experiences can include classes, competitions, or partnerships for charities or community efforts. Not only can these special events attract positive publicity, it shows customers they’re patronizing a business that gives back to causes they care about.

Restaurants are great at creating customer connections in their communities. Some 94% of U.S. restaurants make charitable contributions, which add up to more than $3 billion a year according to the National Restaurant Association. For example, during the government shutdown hospitality businesses in Washington, Saint Louis, Atlanta and many other cities reached out to furloughed government employees.photo-1514893011-72dfa15bd29c

So what can you do if your business is not in the hospitality industry? Partnerships make it possible for entrepreneurs to expand their reach in their communities. For example, during the government shutdown businesses outside the hospitality industry stepped up to aid restaurants feeding furloughed workers. Offering this help creates connections to long-term loyal customers who will remember long after the event.

WINTER CITY_CNPDGXNQNPIt doesn’t have to be a food event to partner with local businesses and attractions. Think about what sets your company apart and how you use this difference to give back. A car dealership might inspire a video game competition at a popular sports bar or a local wellness center might help sponsor a smoothie tasting event. Coming together on an event or special menu item can connect with customers’ health goals or leisure activities while providing some excitement on cold winter days.

Are you looking for a way to get started? Look around your community and at your calendar. Special days like “Random Acts of Kindness Day”, “World Smile Day” or “Hugging Day” can give you some inspiration for a low cost promotion and perhaps a new partnership to connect with new customers.LUBQRTO8JB_handshake

 

Easy Tips for Pet Preparedness

IMG_20180205_011823 (1)An emergency can happen anywhere changing our lives in an instant. Thousands of pet owners have lost their faithful friends due to storms, fires, and floods or man-made disasters. A majority of pet owners are unprepared for a possible emergency according to a recent survey. More than 90 percent of the pet owners in a Banfield Pet Hospital survey say they are not ready for a disaster.

Simple steps can be taken to reduce the number of pets that die or get lost or separated from their owners during times of emergency.

10522448_10204326587589069_1679476337642888810_nSome of the things you can do to prepare for the unexpected, such as assembling an animal emergency supply kit and developing a pet care buddy system, are the same for any emergency. Whether you decide to stay put in an emergency or evacuate to a safer location, you will need to make plans in advance for your pets. Keep in mind that what’s best for you is typically what’s best for your animals.

If you must evacuate your home, is important NOT TO LEAVE PETS BEHIND! Pets most likely cannot survive on their own and if by some remote chance they do, you may not be able to find them when you return.

74XTZRXTELIf you are heading to a public shelter in an emergency, animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets; consider loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area who would be willing to host you and your pets in an emergency.

A good preparedness kit includes enough of your companion animal’s regular food, medications, first aid supplies, and an appropriately sized carrier. It is also recommended to have updated pet photos, immunizations records, and multiple contact numbers in the kit. You can buy a prepared kit or assemble one in a designated bag.

Items for a pet preparedness kit:

Food (your pet’s regular food) 236506
Water
Leash and collar
Bowl(s)
Photo of your pet/ID and a photo of you with your pet
Medications your pet needs
Immunization/vet records (keep both updated)
Pet carrier
First-Aid Kit
Contact list of pet-friendly hotels, veterinarians, out-of-town friends/family

Current ID tags and updated microchip for your pet are very important.

Knowing CPR for pets is also a good way to be prepared. The Red Cross offers classes in pet CPR. The Red Cross also offers a first-aid app for everyday emergencies. The app has videos and simple step-by-step advice on pet first-aid. To find it text “GETPET” to 90999 or search “Red Cross Pets” in the Apple App Store, Google Play or Amazon Marketplace.

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Include Pets in Your Safety Plans

Prepare for the Unexpected and Take Easy Steps Now

Summer storms, fires, floods, or man-made disasters can strike at any time impacting your treasured pets. Don’t forget to include your pets’ unique needs in your emergency plans.
“Every home should have an emergency supply kit and plans for how to stay safe when disaster strikes,” advises Illinois Emergency Management Director James K. Joseph. “Make sure your kit and emergency plans address the needs of every family member, including your pets.”

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Summer storms and extreme heat are frequent occurrences that can put pets at risk. Not only can severe storms make evacuation of your home a necessity; they can make pets so nervous they run away.

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Heat stroke is a common problem for pets in warm weather. Dogs with short noses or snouts, like the Boxer or Bulldog, are prone to heat stroke. This is also true for any obese pet, a pet with an extremely thick fur coat or any pet with upper respiratory problems such as laryngeal paralysis or collapsing trachea.

Dcm9mQsUwAE096WNever leave your pet alone in the car, even for a few minutes, and even with the windows cracked open. During warm weather, the inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees.

Pet owners also need to be aware animals may try to get out a home or apartment  window or door, which are more likely to be open as weather warms.

Knowing CPR for pets is also a good way to be prepared. The Red Cross offers classes in pet CPR. The Red Cross also offers a first aid app for everyday emergencies. The app has videos and simple step-by-step advice on pet first aid. To find it text “GETPET” to 90999 or search “Red Cross Pets” in the Apple App Store, Google Play or Amazon Marketplace.m34240123_763x260-pet-first-aid
Are you ready to create an emergency kit for your pet? Check out this top 10 list for pet preparedness:

Food (your pet’s regular food)
Water
Leash and collar
Bowl(s)
Photo of your pet/ID and a photo of you with your pet
Medications your pet needs
Immunization/vet records (keep both updated)
Pet carrier
First Aid Kit
Contact list of pet-friendly hotels, veterinarians, American Red Cross, and out-of-town friends/family