By Princess Jones

Families are good for business. They tend to be repeat customers once they find something that works.  As the kids grow up, you have the opportunity to gain lifelong customers as they start their own families. If your business can become a tradition for a family, you’ll see repeat sales over the years. But how can you attract more families to patronize your business? You cater to them.

Go Family Friendly

If you want more families in your business, make it family friendly. All that means is that you make the space comfortable for people dealing with little ones. Add kids menu options at your restaurant. It could mean a little play area in your mechanic shop’s waiting area. You could play family movies on the TV in your insurance office’s waiting room.

Offer Family Discounts

I know every restaurant that kids eat free in my area. On Tuesday night when my husband is working and the kids are driving me nuts, I know exactly where to go to have a delicious meal for a low price. That discount gets me in the door and allows the restaurant to upsell me on other items, like dessert.

There are several ways you can do this. You can allow a free kid meal or entry ticket with an adult purchase. You can offer a free coloring book with purchase at your shoe store. You can offer two for the price of one haircuts at your salon during the week before school starts. Look at your business model and try to find ways to make it budget friendly for your family customers but also profitable for you.

Make It Clear

Kids aren’t welcome everywhere. Fancy restaurants, R-rated movies, and silent auctions are just a few of them. That means that if I have my kids with me, I avoid those places. And if it’s hard to tell whether I can bring my kids, I just don’t.

If you want more families in your business, make sure you tell us. Review your marketing plan to make sure you’re advertising in places we’ll see it–parenting websites, local entertainment papers, etc. Do you already have family specific discounts or kid friendly space? Make sure you feature that in your marketing.

And finally, make sure your staff knows that you want more families in the door. The way they greet and treat those who do stop by will make a difference in word of mouth. If you do that, they will come…and keep coming back.