Approximately one week from today — everyone working from their home or office will make a mass exit to enjoy a long weekend. Memorial Day is celebrated in the United States on the last Monday of May. This year it falls on the final day of the month, the 31st. Businesses around the nation will be gearing up and taking off on Friday for this extended weekend.
However, Memorial Day is much more than a day of work and a weekend of sales. It is first and foremost a day for remembering those who have lost their lives protecting the country. The freedoms we enjoy are in large part due to their sacrifice.
Prepare Your Business for Memorial Day
Your business can certainly take advantage of the weekend to boost profits. You may best help employees by giving them the long weekend off.
If your type of business demands a dedicated weekend on Memorial Day Weekend to build the business and long work hours — follow up by offering employees another long weekend choice.
Help bring the country together.
As businesses, we can also prepare for Memorial Day by participating in efforts to bring the country together after this awful bout with COVID — and other political rages tearing the nation down.
We can offer support talk around the home, office, or retail about the sacred aspects of Memorial Day and how we can best serve our country by upholding others’ rights — and helping those who need assistance.
Here’s how you can prepare your business to successfully balance honoring the country and pull together.
1. Do Something Special for Veteran’s
One of the finest things you can do as a business owner is to honor the fallen. Is there something you can do that will represent our country or a Vet? Is there a special Veteran you personally know — or a Veteran that is in your community? How about finding a Veteran’s family you could give a shout-out to?
Think of something that will make an impact — better yet — ask your team for suggestions. One year my boss handed out a map to a hill about an hour from our office. On this hill are buried the fallen from all wars in that community since WWI! What an honor it was for me to invite my family and go see that site. I won’t forget the feeling. That city sets fireworks off from the top of that hill on the fourth of July — It is now a family tradition to go there to celebrate with them.
Is there a special place you could point out to your employees where they can grab a piece of the true Memorial Day feeling?
Ask questions of your team or employees. Mention the tradition of taking flowers to leave at a gravesite for loved ones. Look for the graves with flags if you want to find a Veteran.
While any efforts will certainly boost your company image, what’s most important is giving back to the community.
A company event inviting local families will be a hit. A Memorial Day barbeque is a fun and delicious way to give back to those families who have given so much already for their country. How about getting a cut out of a local Veteran and handing out hotdogs or popsicles in front of your business? Flags are hard to get this year with COVID supply chain issues — but think and plan for the flag giveaways next year.
2. Hold a Sale
It wouldn’t be an American holiday if there wasn’t a sale attached. Given the nature of this particular day, tread lightly before focusing on sales and deals. However, there’s still a great opportunity for your business if you play your cards right.
First and foremost, find a way to make your sale benefit Veterans and their families in some way. You can take advantage of the capitalism our Veterans have made possible for us — and still put those families first.
To add another positive spin to your holiday deal — add a nonprofit organization into the mix. State that a certain percentage of sales made over the extended weekend will be donated to said nonprofit. Charities like the Wounded Warrior Project are a great place to look.
3. Post on Social Media
A good social media post is a fantastic way to show your gratitude toward the armed forces on Memorial Day. A social media message is far-reaching, making it possible to spread your thanks and appreciation across the country in an instant.
When designing a social media post for Memorial Day, keep it simple. Letting people know that you remember helps with healing. A single image representing the military or the country with a short caption should do the trick.
You can certainly use a post about all Veteran’s (such as this one) to draw awareness to your Memorial Day sale but do so tastefully. When posting to your site or social media, consider putting the focus on how the sale benefits veterans and their families (your chosen non-profit). This way you still get the advertising out, but no one will lose sight of what’s important about the day.
4. Prepare for Travellers
Memorial Day weekend is a popular weekend for travelers. Many employees get a vacation day and kids don’t have to go to school, making it possible to travel. Your business will need to prepare for the influx of travelers that will visit during the three-day period.
If you’re anticipating larger than usual crowds over Memorial Day weekend at your place of business, make sure you have enough staff on hand to handle the rush. This ensures that your team doesn’t get overwhelmed and provides enough manpower to assists every customer.
To accommodate travelers, consider extending any sale you hold beyond the normal Memorial Day weekend. A sale starting on Friday and ending on Tuesday provides a couple of extra days for out-of-towners to visit your business while still participating in their planned activities.
5. Give Your Business a Makeover
Hand your design team a project to give your website a Memorial Day makeover. Adding some red, white, and blue will immediately show visitors that you’re all in on the holiday. They’ll be more interested in browsing through your site to see what the fuss is about, leading them to the sales, charitable efforts, and business hours associated with the weekend.
If you send out newsletters, write blog posts, or send SMS messages as part of your business plan, give these a Memorial Day spin as well. There are plenty of topics to write about regarding the holiday, as well as fun facts about the country or even your local area you can include for a personal touch.
6. Add a Veteran’s Discount
You can honor and respect Veterans and their families all year round. If you haven’t already, consider adding a Veteran’s discount to your products or service. This way, Veterans will have access to business deals all year rather than just on an obscure weekend.
Memorial Day is the perfect opportunity for you to unveil your new Veteran’s discount. Using social media and in-house advertising you can spread the word that your business is now concentrating its efforts toward those who have served the country.
You’ll find a lot more value in Memorial Day weekend when you put these tips to the test. Your business will benefit but most importantly your community will be strengthened thanks to your efforts.
Image Credit: brett sayles; pexels; thank you!
Hunter Meine is a BYU-Idaho graduate, husband, father, and writer. When he's not writing, he's playing sports or enjoying the outdoors with his wife and daughter.