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Weekly Raffle For a Successful Small Business by Hannah Putnam

Weekly Raffle For a Successful Small Business by Hannah Putnam


Custom cookies, homemade popsicles, and gallons of candy galore! These sweet treats have been the motivation for my hardworking mother to begin the process of opening her very own sweet shop – Sweet Haddies in Weatherford, Texas. I have the great pleasure of being a partial owner (15%) and am therefore involved with the planning, coordinating, and pre-development of her dream. As a family we have discussed anything and everything you can imagine in regards to opening a small business – including what to do with leftovers! After a long process of brainstorming ideas raffling with business cards received a unanimous vote from our family and close friends. By utilizing a weekly raffle Sweet Haddies will show customer appreciation, small-town business support, and an overall sense of community in order to be a successful local business.


Obviously these delicious sweet treats have an expiration date, and what a waste it would be to trash the leftovers at the closure of each Sunday. Donating the food items would be a very charitable action to do; however, the community does not have a large homeless population.


Further exploration for ideas on what to do with the not-yet-but-close-to expiring confections resulted in the wonderful idea of a business card raffle. The rules are simple: place your business card with contact information into the raffling tray each week and you could win whatever cakes, cookies, and other sweets that were unfortunately not taken home to be enjoyed by a family, corporation, or small business.


By utilizing this concept, Sweet Haddies is able to slowly formulate a bulletin board full of local business cards to customers interested in peeking at who else comes to visit. Each week, instead of trashing the business cards, Sweet Haddies management would post them on a bulletin board for anyone to look at, or take, in order to help with other areas of business that they are in search of. Local plumbers, boutiques, schoolteachers, office workers, and more can all freely participate while also marketing for their own line of work! A business card implies that there is some profession involved for the individual participating. Therefore, by donating these items at the end of each week you are supporting not only local customers – who will appreciate the thought and become regulars at the shop – but also maintain a public appeal.


Simple gestures go a long way, especially in smaller towns like Weatherford. If you provide an opportunity for a client to showcase his or her own business, they will more than likely do the same for you. The old saying is “you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours.” (As long as we wear gloves to keep up with health codes in the shop!) These marketing efforts should increase the word of mouth circulation for the new business, increase the quantity of customers, escalate consumer loyalty and retention all while providing a place of work that inspires my mom to use her creative ideas. Office work and desk jobs proved to dissatisfy her, so a cookie shop is exactly what she needed. The simple (and efficient) use of raffling to connect with her community is an extraordinary opportunity for free marketing and an ideal solution to a problem faced by many other bakeries and sweet shops alike.

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Contributed by Hannah Putnam