Just before Christmas we had a new convenience store open up near us.

Previously, we were the only shop in the area that was open on a Sunday, but the new store opens on Sundays too and as it’s nearer to the houses, people were choosing not to walk further down the road to us.

Combined with the motorway near us closing, we found less people were visiting during the past few months and we lost 20% of our sales.

We have an important factor on our side though – our relationship with the community. Last month we had our 10th anniversary, so this summer we’re going to throw a massive street party to say thank you to our shoppers.

We’ll have a week of deals to build up to it, then put on food, bring in face painters and entertainment and run competitions.

I’ve run events like this before and I found that working with local suppliers and businesses was key, as it gets your name out further. Getting national suppliers on board is essential as well – if they can support us in any way to make the event as big as it can be then that goes a long way.

I hit a lot of brick walls at first. Businesses of all sizes get requests like this all the time, but these are conversations worth having.

It’s always good to have a large prize giveaway too. I’ve given away a bike before, but I’ve learnt that people really like gadgets. Our mobile phone giveaway was the most successful – if you can dig deep it pays off.

We’re going to promote this event hard. We’ll have leaflet drops to the new houses in our area and drive it on social media.

The new shop is a threat, but we’ve got 10 years of relationships on our side. By holding this event, we are going to remind our locals that we are worth walking further down the street for.