It’s hard to believe that it’s almost that time again. Some of us are still trying to cool down from the hot summer and now it’s time to start thinking about the holidays already. But, if you own a small business, you’re always working a few months ahead of any event. The holidays are no different.
It doesn’t matter what type of products or services you sell, whether you sell online, offline or both – gearing up for the holidays starts anywhere from four months to two months prior to the event. Here’s how to do it.
If you are sending out email newsletters to customers or potential customers, you want to start mentioning the holidays sooner rather than later. You don’t want to frighten anyone away by making every single newsletter holiday-like, but adding in a few additional notices about the holidays and upcoming specials and events can be all that is needed to plant some seeds.
Just like with your newsletters where you mention the holidays are coming around the corner, you want to get some excitement stirring by talking about the upcoming holidays and throwing hints out about your plans and events that will make this holiday better than any other. It’s easy to tie “back to school” into the holidays too.
As the holidays get closer it can be fun to dress up your website, photos and content with some holiday decorations. If you’re planning a big event, consider a countdown banner that will announce the excitement of the events coming up. If you have a real store front, start decorating and adding to the holiday feel a little bit at a time to stir excitement in your visitors.
If you have a service-based business, before the holidays is a great time to remind them that you will still be around during the holidays and that you’re ready to serve them even during the holidays. Conversely, if you’re not going to be available you might want to announce that too, with pre- and/or post-holiday sales due to closure during the holiday.
Ramp Up Social Media
During the holidays, especially already set dates like Black Friday and Cyber Monday, many people have time off and are using social media. This is a great time, before and after, to ramp up your social media messages and promotions. The more people who are around to see your messages, the more people will take advantage of your sales.
Think Gift Giving
It doesn’t matter if you have a services business or if you sell typical retail items, you can still start thinking in terms of gift giving by bundling items and making it easy for customers to give them as gifts to others. For instance, if you are a virtual assistant you could offer your current clients the chance to give away your services to others by offering a limited number of hours that they can purchase at a reduced rate to give to someone else. This can work for any services business from house cleaning to hair cutting.
Additionally, when you start thinking about the holidays remember to give yourself enough time to plan all your events, products and services just like you would with any other product launch. You’ll need the right content, the right advertising copy, packaging, and delivery technology for these dates as you would for any other event. Plan accordingly.