With the holiday season just a short time away, you might already be thinking about everything that this particular time of year entails for your small business. If sales normally increase during these festive winter months, then you’re likely excited about the opportunities that lie ahead. However, if you’re one of the companies that struggle to make ends meet around Thanksgiving and Christmas, then the holidays may not be so happy. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to make them joyful again.
With almost 20 percent of all annual sales happening around Christmas time, which amounts to roughly $619 billion being spent this time of year (according to Statista), there are plenty of opportunities to make this time of year better for your small business. In fact, here are five tactics you can use on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and beyond that can potentially help your business grow.
Put Yourself in Your Customers’ Minds – Early!
With so many businesses trying to claim their portion of the massive amounts of money being spent during the holidays, you’re going to be competing against countless others for your share of the profit. Therefore, you want to do something to put yourself in your customers’ minds early so your business is the first one they think about when it comes to gift giving this year.
You can do this by sending an email or card about 1-2 months prior to the holidays to remind them why your products or services make good gifts. You might even decide to include a special discount or offer to the people who decide to buy them extra early, helping them to cross a gift off their list and giving you some pre-holiday income.
Offer Holiday Sales, Deals, and Discounts
You can’t turn on the TV, open the newspaper, or search around the Internet around Thanksgiving and Christmas without being bombarded with ads created by other businesses to help promote their sales. Are you doing the same thing for your company?
Some deal-related options to consider include:
- Buy one get one free
- Buy one get one half off
- A certain percentage off products or services in certain categories
- A certain percentage off all products or services
- Free shipping
There are many ways you can give your loyal and new customers a deal and these are just a few to consider.
Sell Gift Certificates
Although in business you are typically marketing to your target audience, marketing around the holiday shifts ever so slightly to also include marketing to the people that are buying gifts for your target audience. One way to help this group purchase gifts for their loved ones is to offer the option of purchasing a gift certificate – and advertising that you offer them.
When people know that they can buy a gift card and let their gift recipients pick out what they want or need from your company, it takes all of the stress out of the shopping equation. Plus, then they’re certain that the person will get exactly what he or she wants. Additionally, if you provide services versus products, this allows the gift giver to cover some or all of this type of expense, something that a lot of people appreciate when they’re watching every penny.
You can sell gift certificates in certain money increments, such as $25, $50, or $100. Or you can also offer gift cards to cover specific services (like a haircut or oil change) if they are always a pre-determined amount.
Give the Giver a Gift
Another way to capitalize on the holiday season is to create sales packages that are win/win for your customer. How? Give them something when they buy a gift for someone else.
For example, if you own a car wash, maybe you would offer your customers the option of buying a gift coupon book good for 10 washes and, when they do, you give them one free wash of their own. Or, if you own a supermarket chain, perhaps you could give your customers $5 off their groceries for every $50 gift certificate they buy.
At a time of year that is focused solely on doing for others, it can be enticing to your clients to buy a gift that gives them a little too. After all, who doesn’t like gifts?
Partner with Other Businesses
If your revenues don’t ordinarily increase during the holiday season, you can potentially draw in a lot of new customers during this time of year by partnering with businesses that typically have increases in sales this time of year. Some to consider include grocery stores as they supply all of the goods for holiday meals, retail stores where local customers generally go to buy their gifts, and even Christmas tree farms.
For instance, if you own a leather goods store, you could partner with the local supermarket and offer their customers $5 off a belt or 10% off a pair of shoes. You can do this by giving them coupons that they place in their bags, by printing it on the back of their receipts and then asking that they draw their customers’ attention to the deal, or even just by telling them to bring in their receipt, giving them a commission on everyone that takes the deal.
This allows you to get more out of your advertising dollar since both of you will be promoting the deal. Plus, it is possible that you could start a good partnership with other local companies, establishing a stronger network that you can utilize throughout the year that makes you both more profitable in the end.
These are just a few options to help your business grow during the holidays. What are some of the things you have done in the past that have resulted in increased revenues for yours? Feel free to share below so that other small business owners can try it too!
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