Is there any more classic tourist haven than Florida? From the massive theme parks of Orlando to the unique cultural scene of Miami to the crystal beaches of Daytona, it’s no wonder that the whole country seems to flood down there for vacation throughout the year—especially in the summer.
Taking advantage of the massive tourist traffic in Florida can be done by any business, but you need to be prepared. The time to set your business up for tourist success in the summer is throughout the rest of the year. There are several simple ways to maximize your success when those hot months roll around.
Focus on Reviews
Social media is a double-edged sword—it can sink your business, or it can send it into the stratosphere. Gone are the days where people would leaf through an old travel guide to figure out their vacation destination. Now their first stop is more likely to be a site like Yelp or Google Reviews. This means that you can’t rely on customers to simply leave a review if they’re interested—you need to incentivize them to leave you positive reviews and boost your rating.
One of the simplest ways to do this is to offer perks if people leave a review, such as a discount code for their next visit. While this doesn’t guarantee a positive review, most people would be more likely to think positively of a business that offered them free items. Subscribing frequent customers to a newsletter where they can learn about your business’s new offerings can help, as you can include requests to leave reviews. The more positive reviews you have, the better your reach.
Offer Timely Sales
The good news about tourist season is it’s usually pretty easy to predict. The biggest times of the year will be the summer months, when kids are out of school and families are taking vacations. That means this is the perfect time to incentivize people to pay your business a visit through special deals and sales that offer them a chance to sample your offerings.
Of course, the key to any good sale is to get the word out. Your sales will draw people in, but it’s your job to make sure they know about them. Social media is your best tool here, as Facebook and other platforms have a wide reach. If you have a newsletter for your loyal customers, make sure to include this. Don’t forget traditional media—putting out paper advertisements, ads in the local paper, and boards around town can draw in locals.
Get Properly Insured
If you’re not fully covered by insurance, make sure to fix this before the busy season. Larger crowds mean a larger chance for mishaps. Some types of insurance are legally required, like workers’ compensation insurance that covers your employees in the event of an injury, but others are optional. The coverage you need will depend on what services you’re offering.
If you’re a brick-and-mortar retail location or restaurant, you’ll want general liability insurance to protect your building and assets. But if you’re offering professional services or advice, make sure you’re covered with Florida professional liability insurance. This insurance will protect you in case of negligence claims and will cover your costs in court as well as for settlements and judgments.
Collaborate With Travel Organizations
Before you open your doors for the summer season, there are some ways to raise your profile and ensure that customers get steered to your business. Seek out your local travel bureau, information center, or travel agency. This includes any websites that serve your area. Hire a graphic designer to make up some appealing pamphlets for your business that you can place strategically in the offices or nearby.
Don’t ignore the places where the most tourists congregate—hotels. These are usually the first stop for tourists as they drop off their luggage, and talking to the front desk can get you a prominent place. If there’s an airport nearby, you may be able to get your pamphlets placed at the information desk, which has a very high traffic volume. Make sure to go through all the proper channels for this one and apply for placement here early.
Set Yourself Up for Summer Success
The summer season in Florida is a gold mine for businesses who come prepared. Whether you’re trying to appeal to college students on spring break or Disney-bound families, it’s all about raising your profile. Start early, and make sure that tourists know everything that awaits them when they visit your business.