Beginning March 14, 14 cities across the United States will host the men’s and women’s National Collegiate Championship basketball tournaments. The surge in tourism and business is an economic boon for each host city, such as Las Vegas, and the economic downturn for many small business owners as the hangover and economic headwinds of the pandemic continue to linger a little longer than they are welcomed. provide a strong boost.
And how much profit can some of these cities expect? In 2021, WalletHub researchers found that the NCAA brought in $1.16 billion. Last year’s tournament brought in big money for the 14 tournament-hosting cities. New Orleans, which hosted the 2022 finals, found that the tournament brought in about $200 million to the city, according to a study.
The countdown is on for small business owners everywhere this year. It’s time to get ready for the boom in business in the next few weeks. Check out this game strategy and get ready to get some tips.
Up your marketing Your city and your business are about to see a massive influx of visitors who just want to shop locally. Check to see if your local Chamber of Commerce plays a role in tournaments and see if there are any promotional opportunities you can attend. Discuss marketing your business. Also, connect with other local businesses and outlets to go to market together and maximize your reach. There is power in numbers. Then, get creative and consider hosting spectator parties, creating bracket contests and other basketball-related promotions. Find out which teams are coming to your region, get to know the players and see if they have any connections to your region.There are endless ways to connect with this new audience. Be sure to take a shot.
Offer perks. If you are in a service business such as running a restaurant or bar, now is the time to make sure you have plenty of televisions. Also, consider promoting the restaurant and its delivery service during all matches of the tournament for those watching at home or tailgating in the arena. What about running specials such as creating drink and food specials during the game or offering discounts to large parties? As visitors arrive in town and frequent your location Do your best when you can. Encourage repeat visits by promoting specials, extended hours, and additional viewing options.
Stock up on inventory and staff. With all of this additional marketing and special offers to promote, check your inventory and prepare any additional ingredients, food or even staff orders you may need for the month. Plan ahead and prepare as best you can. will help you get through the busy days ahead with ease. Now is also the time to ask your team for help. It’s always important to have everything ready for game day and that goes for the staff as well. Meet with your team now and start planning who will work when. In some cases, consider adding temporary staff to help out. Consider adding fun perks like hosting staff brackets or having your staff wear their favorite jerseys.
Please consult a bank employee. With an influx of business looming, consider calling your small business banker to make sure you’re ready. Do you have enough cash on hand to pre-purchase additional supplies? Talk to your banker to ensure you and your business are prepared for the expected crowd Make sure that you can get the maximum profit from the tournament.
It’s exciting when a big sporting event comes to town, but it’s important to make sure you’re prepared to maximize the fun factor and your business’ profits. Take your time now to plan and prepare, including your staff along the way. Together, enjoy the tournament hype and the milestones you reach as a business.
Lester Romero is the leader of Wells Fargo’s Small Business Bank based in Las Vegas.