What are some of the biggest challenges facing businesses in the area, and how can they overcome them?
Planning and communication are going to be key in overcoming a lot of the challenges businesses may face. Start by taking a look at your business and try to think of disruptions that could affect your day-to-day and plan solutions around them. The race is expected to draw hundreds of thousands of spectators over the course of 9 days, so you might want to communicate to your employees so they know to expect an influx of traffic both at the business and around it so they might want to leave for work earlier than normal to accommodate for any delays. However, communicating with your existing customer base is of utmost importance. Letting them know what to expect ahead of time will go a long way in terms of customer experience and can help to soften the impact of things like long wait times.
Marketing mistakes to avoid
The biggest takeaway here is avoiding the use of intellectual property that does not belong to you. Protected brands, like the UCI logo, are not available for public use so businesses should avoid using the logo on their website or printed materials. Businesses should instead tie into the theme of cycling to show their association with the event and position themselves as a cycling-friendly venue. Bringing in screens to host viewing events, or sharing cycling-oriented content on your sites and social media are a couple small but effective ways to tie into the event.
What kinds of questions should businesses be asking and what should they start thinking about right now to prepare for the event?
One of the best things businesses can do right now is to start thinking about how they can begin presenting themselves as cycling-friendly businesses and welcoming places for visitors and cycling enthusiasts alike. An easy way to do this is to leverage the Société 2015 brand and integrate it into your business by displaying the logo in your storefront and on your website. There are downloadable logos that are available for use on the Société 2015 site.
Businesses will also want to take the time to look at the course route and race schedules to see how they might be impacted. If your business is located along the course route, you’ll want to start thinking about how that will affect things like parking, accessibility to your business and how your employees and customers might be impacted, and then begin thinking of a plan to work around that and what opportunities there might be.
From a social media perspective, you’ll want to start thinking about how to engage and encourage word of mouth both digitally and physically. Start by taking a look at what your social media goals are and making sure that they tie back to your business goals. For instance, instead of growing your Facebook numbers, maybe the focus should be on increasing your positive reviews societesocialmediaon sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor. Contests and offering incentives for engagement is also a great way to increase traffic to your business both in person and online. You’ll also want to make sure your website and digital content is optimized for mobile since the majority of visitors will be accessing your information on their mobile phones. For more social ideas, Travis Jones of the Martin Agency has put together a one-page social media guide for businesses which you can download here.