The holidays are approaching quickly, and can be a fun, exciting time for small businesses to generate significant sales and revenues. Many small retail businesses actually rely on the holiday season for a large part of their yearly sales. However, a common mistake for many is not preparing their marketing plan for the holiday season until it is too late. Or, doing no planning at all to maximize their holiday sales. For optimum success, you should start your holiday business planning 2-3 months in advance; this enables you to be more effective and definitely makes the holidays less stressful for your business! With that in mind, here are 5 holiday marketing ideas for your small business:
Develop special promotions. Create a special promotion from your selection of products and services that you don’t offer any other time of year. Special discounts, or a package of goods/services will entice both new customers and existing customers who may purchase from you regularly and recognize the special values that you are offering with your promotion.
Create an email marketing campaign. The holidays are a great time to communicate with your current customers and to grow your email marketing list! If you don’t normally utilize email marketing, there is no better time to start than the holidays. This will get your small business in front of your valued customers and keep you “top of mind” for their holiday shopping. Make sure you utlize your social media sites to invite people to sign up so they don’t miss out on your holiday promotions. It can also be very effective to encourage people to share your holiday promotional emails; for example have a link like “share with a friend”.
Plan and organize events. In-store events are a great way to attract people to your small business! They can be elaborate, or simple, and don’t necessarily need to cost a lot of money. Some options to consider are opening early or staying open late for “preferred customers”, or choose a day when you offer cookies and hot chocolate for your shoppers. Whatever you choose to do, the critical part is publicizing it and letting your customers and the general public know in advance!
Partner with other local small businesses. As you probably know, we are big proponents of creating cross-promotions with other local small businesses, and the holidays are a great time to offer joint promotions or co-host an event! Just remember to choose a small business that offers products and services that are complimentary to yours, for you both to get the maximum benefit from your joint efforts.
Offer gift wrapping services. You’ll need to have a little extra money in the budget for this option, but it is a great way to help you stand out from your competitors, and shoppers (especially men) LOVE to have their gifts wrapped for them. Again, make sure you spread the word about your gift wrapping services on your social media sites and your email campaign.
We hope you found these tips useful for preparing your small business for the holiday season!