For many businesses, Christmas is the busiest time of the year. It can also be the most lucrative, especially if they have a large marketing budget and years of experience. For small businesses, the opposite can sometimes be true. You might instead worry about keeping up with demand, or you might get anxious about stocking the right products for the season.
Fortunately, with a little planning and some careful preparation, you can cash in on the end-year boom. Start by taking stock of your current supplies. Towards the end of the October, check your inventory. As you put away your Halloween gear, you can inspect your shelves and stock rooms to see what you’re running low on.
Re-stock for Christmas
Now that you have a good idea of what you need, buy necessary stocks with the holidays in mind. It can be hard to decide what to buy and what to leave, so try controlling your market instead. There will always be an item a customer wants that you don’t have, but that doesn’t mean you can’t build on what you do have.
Select five to ten items that will be your holiday showcase. They would typically be the most common Christmas products, such as trees, décor, candles, knick-knacks and so on–but virtually any product can be marketed as a holiday gift or a way to improve the customer’s holiday experience. Create a Christmas Corner in your shop, and a matching Christmas page on your website. Draw attention to this area so that customers are driven there. Use it as the landing page on your online store.
Promote your Christmas offers
Build your marketing around this Christmas Corner. On social media, you can highlight one of its products every day, or maybe every week. This drums up interest and creates demand. Now look at the other products or services in your store. Can you tie them in to your Christmas products? Try bundling them in a Christmas package.
For example, a Christmas tree could be grouped with unrelated items like eggs, for your eggnog, milk and marshmallows for hot chocolate, or even a specially printed Christmas cake recipe, grouped with a discount package that includes all its ingredients.
If your business is more service oriented, tailor your services for the season. For example, a cleaning company can have a Christmas Corner with pre-holiday or post-holiday clean-up, or an offer to help you take down your decorations. A courier service could design a special deal for hand-delivering Christmas cards.
Update your payment system
Regardless of the nature of your business, it’s likely you will have more customers during this holiday season. A lot of them will be last minute shoppers and impulse buyers, especially if you hold a Christmas sale. Make sure it’s easy and swift for them to pay you, and that your system has no lags or delays. Consider a payment processor for credit card transactions and checks.
For more information on creating a holiday marketing plan for your small business, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.