tl;dr – You can increase the success of your shop’s 420 sale or event by taking advantage of 4 important factors.
- Organization – Strategically scheduling out your staff (including meals and breaks) and optimizing your inter-staff communication.
- Adequate Stock – Estimating how much you need of merchandise as well as necessary items like bags and receipt paper, placing your order with plenty of time, and working with reliable vendors that can help out in emergencies.
- Creative Promotion – Aside from digital marketing, taking advantage of in-store promotion, print media, and text blasts.
- Customer Service – Keeping your staff informed, knowledgeable and flexible.
It feels like ages since the last 420, but does last year’s even count? This year’s unofficial holiday has a more optimistic feeling, with vaccines being administered and what appears to be a light at the end of the tunnel of this global tragedy. How will these feelings feed into 420? Will we see a larger than usual 420 sale surge when compared to a typical mid-week 420? It’s hard to say, but if your shop isn’t planning some sort of sale or promotion, you’re sleeping on an opportunity. We’re assuming you have something in the works and today, we’re going to go over 4 factors that you need to be hitting to make sure your 420 event is a success. With strategic organization, adequate stock, creative promotion, and impeccable customer service, you could set yourself up for your most lucrative 420 so far.
How to Organize Your Staff as Part of Your 420 Strategy
The 420 rush can be chaotic but strategizing now can help you to stay cool in the face of puff-puff-pandemonium. Fortunately, most of us aren’t facing down the holiday rush alone. We’ve got our dedicated teams of employees that, when organized properly, can provide the reinforcement we need to meet record-breaking demand if necessary. Assume that there will be fires to put out, but that a little organization and pre-planning will help you to meet every challenge without breaking too much of a sweat.
You’ll need to schedule your employees according to your busiest times which means knowing their availability and whether they’re able to potentially work outside of their normal schedule. With 420 falling on a Tuesday this year and a global pandemic kneecapping most social events, it shouldn’t be too much of a challenge finding adequate staff for the big day, but this also depends on the size of your business… and the size of your staff. For some businesses, 420 rivals Black Friday, so it can pay to approach it with the same sense of respect. Make sure to have backup situations in place in case of unexpected absences. Chances are that you’ll need all the help you can get to weather the busiest points of the day.
Once you’ve scheduled out all of your employees for your big 420 sale, you’ll need to establish an organized system of breaks, including designated meal periods. This should be in line with your state’s laws and regulations. If you plan on offering extended work hours to your staff, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with the overtime guidelines for your state as well. Plan that breaks may not run like clockwork; an employee helping a customer with numerous questions may not start their break right on the dot, so your break schedule should have a bit of breathing room.
Adequate communication between your staff is paramount in the weeks leading up to your 420 sale or event. This is a great opportunity to take a modern approach if you’re not doing so already. Apps like Slack or Skype are ideal for quick, efficient communication between staff and they’re easy to add onto your phone. Even if you’re just using text messages, you need to establish some form of reliable communication between your entire staff to send mass messages or update on last minute changes in procedure.
When Should You Stock Up on Smoke Shop Wholesale Supplies for 420?
Do you know how much stock you need for the upcoming 420 rush? If this isn’t your first year in business, you might have a good idea of what kind of smoke shop wholesale order you need to put in to meet the demands of the holiday so unique to our industry. But, unlike 2019’s Saturday 420 (and should we even mention 2020?), this year’s festivities fall on a Tuesday. Will this mean significantly less traffic to your business or will cabin fever and the hope of the pandemic ending add to a surge? It’s hard to say for certain, but you don’t want to miss any opportunities by underestimating the potential traffic boost. Let’s look at some ways you can properly prepare your business for a nice 420 sale surge while avoiding the potential nightmare of greeting demanding customers with cleared out shelves.
Depending on your business, stocking up for the 420 rush means filling your shelves with smoke shop wholesale items like dab rigs, pipes and accessories. That’s common sense. Knowing how much you need can be a bit more of a guessing game, but you can be educated about it. This is easier if you have sales data from previous years’ 420 celebrations to help you gauge what you’ll need. However, it’s important to remember that “supplies” extend beyond saleable inventory. They also include receipt paper, shopping bags, and other items you need for your daily business operations. Running out of the necessities during a rush can be a nightmare, so make sure you err on the side of overstocking. If you don’t use it during 420, it will all still get used.
As we mentioned above, 420 is on a Tuesday this year, which probably means less of a rush than 2019’s 420 weekend. However, even non-weekend 420s can generate a lot of revenue. In 2019, with the 420 weekend looming, Zach Engel, manager of the multi-location Clinic in Colorado, told MJBiz Daily that, even on years when 420 falls on a weekday, his business enjoys “a 15% - 20% increase in sales” beginning approximately two weeks leading up to the big day. Therefore, stocking up on inventory isn’t a bad idea.
How do you ensure you have plenty of stock on business supplies as well as merchandise? You make sure to give yourself plenty of time to place your order. The modern conveniences of Amazon have made us much more expectant of instant gratification, but when you’re ordering smoke shop wholesale supplies, you can expect to wait 3 to 5 business days until you receive your order… and that’s if everything’s in stock and there are no special circumstances. When you start factoring in holidays, shipping delays are inevitable. Placing your orders well in advance of the 420 rush allows for peace of mind, letting you focus on more immediately important matters like scheduling staff, planning sales and promotions, and coordinating events. We recommend placing all your 420 orders by the last week of March and no later than the first week of April, especially if you’re ordering large quantities that require pallet breakdowns. That being said, Master-Minded has been known to accommodate massive 420 orders as late as the second week of April. If you’re in a crunch, talk to your sales rep to see what’s possible!
And if we lived in a reality where everything went according to plan, that would be all there is to it. Unfortunately, in the real world, sometimes, no matter your painstaking level of strategizing, a shipment gets delayed, wires get crossed, or you just forget about a certain item that you desperately need. In these situations, you might be able to get by with a little help from your friends… or, more likely, some trustworthy vendors. Building solid relationships with vendors is crucial in this industry but we can’t overstate the importance of the vendor being trustworthy, since you’ll need operations to run seamlessly. In a best-case scenario, your pre-planning runs like clockwork. But if it doesn’t, the right vendor can help you out, so it pays to keep some reliable businesses close.
4 Ways You Should Be Promoting Your 420 Sale Off the Computer
Using the conveniences and wide reach of modern technology is vital to the success of your business, but it shouldn’t be the only way you’re getting your brand out there. Businesses love digital marketing. And why shouldn’t they? It works! That’s why we wrote a whole blog about digital marketing for 420 sales! But when it comes to your big 420 sale, you’re often going to be relying on local patrons to drive up your sales. For the locals, some old school methods work just as well, if not better, than digital marketing.
Your shop is the ultimate canvas for promotion. In this case, the people to whom you’re advertising already know you exist and are on the hook enough to actually be paying your store a visit. Want them to come back? Then make sure that, no matter where they look, they see that you’re having a huge 420 sale that they’ll kick themselves for missing. You can do this with chalkboards, flyers, cardboard cutouts, stickers… anything that gets the details easily into the eye of your browsing customers. But don’t just limit this to in-store advertising. Make sure the promo is practically spilling out onto the sidewalk by taking advantage of window space and a well-placed sign right outside of your front door. This is your space and you should be using it wisely.
Some of us are old enough to remember advertising in our local newspapers. Well, believe it or not, you can still do that! But is there a point? There was in 2015, according to a Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising survey of millennials that revealed they still view print sources as a viable marketing portal. You’ll want to really consider your audience here and choose a newspaper or local magazine that has at least a significant section focused on culture. A tasteful ad could do wonders as people picking up copies of these (often free) magazines read through them in search of things to do. Between state rules and regulations on advertising in this industry, not to mention the rules and restrictions of the publications themselves, you’ll find out rather quickly if print advertising is feasible for your 420 sale.
Sending text blasts veers into the digital realm, but since you can do it without the aid of the internet, we’re going to include it here. This works best if you’ve already put together a patient or customer list. You can use a text blast service or app, but you’ll need customers to willingly give you their phone numbers which can easily be obtained through a rewards program. Studies show that it’s better to reward repeat customers than first time customers, so a rewards program definitely deserves your consideration if you don’t already have one in place. But back to the point: if you have the ability to send a text blast, your 420 sale is an opportune time to use it and remind your customer base of the reasons they should consider your business the place to be on the big day.
How to Provide the Best Customer Service During Your 420 Sale
You can set up a fire 420 event or an unbeatable 420 sale and still fail if your customer service isn’t top notch. Don’t think customer service is as important in today’s automated world? Think again. Just take a look at some of these customer retention stats:
- You have a 60% - 70% chance of selling to an existing customer, whereas your chance of selling to a new customer is 5% - 20%.
- 65% of a company’s business comes from the customers it already has.
- 80% of a company’s future profits will likely come from just 20% of its existing customers.
Knowing these stats, do you think you can afford to lose a single customer? While your products, prices and policies are definitely factors on whether a potential customer becomes a regular, customer service is every bit as important. Let’s discuss how you can optimize your customer service team to make sure your 420 crowd sticks around long after the holiday’s over.
Our industry is a sensitive one and your customer service team will likely need to know state laws and regulations inside and out. From ancillary businesses to dispensaries, most shops within this industry find themselves inundated with questions ranging from state restrictions and law to recommended dosage and tolerance levels. Your customer service team should be confidently knowledgeable but also know which questions to answer and which to refer to an outside source. That old saying “knowledge is power” definitely applies when working with your customers. If they feel they can shop with confidence, they’re much more likely to return. This also extends to your special 420 deals. It’s amazing to think that you can still walk into a shop where the team isn’t all on the same page about the 420 sales. You don’t ever want your customer service team to be caught off guard, so make sure you’re fully communicating your deals to every member of the team with no detail left out.
Sometimes, you need to think outside the box to accommodate your customers… or at least think outside the hours of operation. With 420 falling on a Tuesday this year, you probably won’t need to extend your business hours, but it’s something you should consider if this is projected to be one of your busiest days of the year. This goes back to knowing your staff’s availability and finding out who might be willing to pick up some overtime if necessary. If you’re working with patients, you may even consider putting yourself on call for the holiday to best accommodate them. This can be an extreme measure and should consider the boundaries of your staff as much as it considers the convenience of your customers.We’ve given you a lot of ideas to think over today, some of which could take your 420 sale to the next level. Play around with these concepts to see how they fit into the plan you’ve already put together. Chances are that finetuning your ideas with some of these concepts will give your 420 event a boost while allowing you to smoothly navigate the holiday surge!