Veteran’s Day is next week, and if your small business numbers veterans as customers (or wants to attract them), here are some ideas for ways your small business can cater to, thank and help veterans.
- Give a freebie. Lots of national restaurant chains provide free meals for veterans on Veterans’ Day. Consider offering something free to veterans, whether a meal, drink, haircut, car wash or downloadable ebook from your website. It’s even better if the freebie is something that a veteran might share (like a meal, where he or she might bring friends or family who will buy their own meals).
- Give a discount. Post a special promo code on your website, social media and in your store that veterans, active-duty military or military families can use to get discounts that day.
- Volunteer for veterans. Take the day off with your employees and volunteer at a local organization that helps military veterans or active-duty military families. Contact your local Veterans Administration to find organizations in your area.
- Donate to veterans. Announce that you will put a portion of your sales for the day, or all profits from a certain item or items that day, toward a military cause. Visit Charity Navigator and review their list of veterans’ organizations to make sure the group is reputable.
- Provide a free consultation to active-duty military, military veterans and families. A business such as a personal trainer, home remodeler or accountant can benefit by offering free consultations to help a veteran decide if he or she wants to pursue your services.
- Celebrate veterans. Create an e-card customers can send to thank veterans for their service. The card should also offer a discount for veterans and military who buy from you. Share the e-card on your website and social media and encourage customers to pass it on. Check out this list of sites to create free e-cards.
- Hold a Veterans’ Day sale. You don’t have to limit your offerings to veterans—copy the big retailers and hold a Veterans’ Day sale. Consider offering special extra discounts to veterans, active duty military, military families or even customers who bring a military member or veteran with them.
- Alert the media. Be sure to let local newspapers, radio stations, cable news and bloggers know about what you’re doing for the military members, families and veterans in your community.
- Start planning now for next year. Advertising in military newspapers and on military websites is a great way to reach active-duty military and families, but you’ll likely need more than a week to place your ad, so while it might be too late for this year, it’s not too early to start now and plan even more veteran outreach for 2014.