So you are the proud owner of a small business, but you are wondering how you are going to compete with all the glitz and glamor of the mall this holiday season. Never fear. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s are all opportunities for your business to shine with the warmth of the holidays. Here are just five ideas to get you started.
Offer more products—unique, seasonally appropriate products that engage the imagination. Most people want to find that one of a kind, can’t get it anywhere else kind of gift for that special someone in their life. Malls and superstores are cookie cutter (and stressful). Whatever your specialty, take it up a notch and add a holiday twist that will bring in the customers. You can even offer free gift wrapping or gift boxes to send them on their satisfied way. How about some hot chocolate or cider with cookies? Being festive never hurt any business.
No, this is not a contradiction. Holiday shoppers long for less stress. The crowded malls with their limited parking, not to mention high prices, can raise the stress levels to catastrophic proportions. To counteract the chaos, you can create an ambiance of peace and tranquility in your store that invites people in with less noise, less traffic, and less pressure. And people can definitely use less distraction. Help them to focus on the uniqueness of what your business has to offer.
Offer a Bargain
Christmas sales, after-Christmas sales, New Year’s sales—get the idea? It’s all about sales. You may be small, but you are not stingy. So offer your customers a great deal. Throw in some free giveaways and put on your “Ho! Ho! Ho!” (not a “Bah, humbug!”). Besides, it just makes sense. It’s better to lower prices and sell more items than to maintain your prices and watch your product collect dust on the shelf. As the saying goes, “Sometimes, you have to spend money in order to make money.” And remember, a happy customer is your best advertisement for future customers.
Offer an Event
You don’t need to necessarily offer a full-blown, no-holds-barred, black-tie affair that keeps you in the red. But maybe this is where you can offer an evening of cookies and hot drinks, or maybe a live musical group playing Christmas music, or maybe a raffle type giveaway. The options are limitless and sure to attract attention, especially if you can appeal to that inner child that seems to come out at this time of year. Or maybe you can offer an opportunity for those more blessed to give back to the less fortunate during the holidays. Using your business to help the community will not only shed good light on your company but also fill you in the holiday spirit.
Offer Online Options
We live in a digital world, and more and more people are looking to the internet for their holiday shopping. Don’t miss out on this vast resource. Spruce up your webpage, send out mass advertising through social media, and give special online-only offers. And here’s something worth noting: An independent marketing research group found that a pin on Pinterest equals a $0.78 sale. Just think of the possibilities there!
With creativity and ingenuity, a small business can not only survive but also thrive during the holiday season. So put on some Bing Cosby singing “White Christmas,”, set up the decorations, lay out the plans, and start those holiday promotions that are sure to grow your business this season.