With 2014 winding down and the holidays fast-approaching, many businesses tend to start looking towards 2015 without acknowledging the potential of the next six weeks. While it’s never a bad thing to look ahead and plan for the future, you could be missing out on a huge opportunity to finish the year on a high-note. There are all sorts of “Clark Griswolds” out there who are looking to drop some dough using their Holiday or Christmas bonuses, so why shouldn’t it be spent at your business? To help avoid this “business holiday hangover” we’d like to offer a few simple ideas that can help you expand your business during the holidays.
1. Have a Game Plan. An action plan will help you not only in providing guidance, but it can also help you to focus your efforts and avoid wasting time and resources. The first thing you should focus on are the important dates that are coming up.
-Thanksgiving November 27
-Black Friday November 28
-Small Business Saturday November 29
-Cyber Monday December 1
Make a plan or marketing calendar focusing around these dates. You’ll want to ensure that any materials (physical or electronic) that you send to clients or potential clients have the timing of these days in mind, as these dates are etched in consumer’s minds.
2. Send a Card. It’s always nice to receive a personalized card from a business where you spent your hard-earned greenbacks. This is a great way to show appreciation to your clients and the more personalized you can make them, the greater impact they’ll have on readers. Another great tactic is to send cards on “off-holidays.” Since everyone is used to getting Christmas cards, send out Thanksgiving or New Year’s cards. This will not only surprise clients, it will separate you from the pack and leave a lasting impression.
3. Incorporate Gift Cards or Certificates. Many shoppers are at a loss when it comes to buying the perfect gifts for friends or loved ones, so make it easy on them! By offering gift cards or certificates to customers, you eliminate a lot of stress for shoppers.
4. Create an “Exclusive” Offer or Discount. Shoppers love to feel like they’re getting an “inside” or “one-time only” deal. If you put in the back of their minds that this is an expiring deal that will not last long, and may never be offered again–they will be much more likely to make the purchase.
5. Decorate! Not only is decorating fun, it helps to put people in the holiday spirit. Adding decorations around the office is a great way to start. Another strategy is to update your website with festive holiday graphics.
6. Stay Social. Using social media outlets is clearly becoming one of the most popular avenues for spreading the word to clientele on a grass-roots level. Try a holiday Facebook contest or photo challenge to get your followers involved. Depending on what type of prize you offer, can have an impact on how many people will take interest. The better the prize, the more interest you should receive.
7. Ship it Fast or Free. Many business that ship merchandise to their customers will offer free standard shipping or will upgrade to a higher-priority shipping for the holidays. This is a great way to entice customers. Both options have their advantages (free shipping obviously saves them money, while upgraded shipping can alleviate fears of the item not arriving on time) so see which option is more cost-effective and go with it.
These easy, yet effective strategies can be the catalyst that helps your business finish 2014 with a bang and start 2015 that much further ahead of the competition.