Congratulations! You’re the CEO of your small business and it’s time to survive the holiday season. It’s the most important time of the year, especially for retailers everywhere, both online and in physical spaces. Being a small business owner, it can be difficult to get your products or services noticed in the crowded online space dominated by the marketing presence of huge companies. After all, who has thousands of dollars to spend on marketing and advertising?
Holiday sales are expected to soar this year, so here are five ways to ensure your business partakes in those sales.
1. Create a holiday season strategy
Plan early. Take time to analyze your previous holiday efforts; what worked and what didn’t. How can you capitalize on what worked and enhance your plans for this season? Create a marketing calendar and budget that will cover the whole holiday season, from right this very minute through early January inventory and returns. Brainstorm special offers and discounts to draw in a different audience. Prepare your staff for the rush and unexpected hiccups that may occur, because honestly, at some point they just will. It’s the nature of the beast. If you are Team I, mentally and physically prepare yourself for late evenings and early mornings.
2. Social Media Interaction
Make your business known using social media. Interact with your audience and other users. Participate in Twitter chats. Ask your customer base what they would like to get from your company this holiday season. Hashtag sale offers. Host holiday giveaways. Contact influential bloggers regarding partnerships. Create social media banners with appealing visual elements to make your company stand out.
3. Attract new customers. Reintroduce yourself to existing customers
Partner with other small businesses to engage new customers. Offer special discounts and promotions via ads, newspapers, and social media advertising options. Maximize your press outreach. Reach out to local news circuits pitching to feature your business during the holidays. Research what is trending for the holiday season and see how your business can be incorporated.
Send personalized holiday cards to your existing customer base. Offer loyalty offers available via email only to existing customers. If feasible, launch a new product or service that you can promote for the holiday season.
4. Become the Solution, Not the Problem
The holidays are stressful enough thinking about gifts to purchase, dinners to cook, travel arrangements to make, and the list goes on. Think about your business offerings and how you can provide a solution to a common holiday issue.
5. Be thankful
After a customer spends money they want to walk away feeling satisfied. Outside of offering customers a great service or product, show your appreciation for their patronage. Send a personalized thank-you email noting how much you appreciate their business and hope that they have a safe and joyous holiday season. Create a partnership with your customers. Invite them to join your mailing list and provide feedback on their purchase(s).