Through the holiday season
The holiday selling season doesn’t stop at the end of December. That said, here are a few ways to encourage sales:
–Planning a strategy is key for small businesses to successfully navigate the holiday season and attract customers.
–Using social media can increase traffic and sales during the holiday season
–Plan for the possibility of low inventory, cash or labor until the holiday sales
–Small businesses can take advantage of various forms of financing, such as small
business loans and invoice factoring, to help cover expenses during the holidays.
The season is in change, leaves are off the trees, it’s colder and people are shopping for gifts and decorations and all kinds of sales, and they still have to eat.
It’s prime time for your business. Some estimates show that the holiday shopping season from November to December will bring in $221.8 billion in sales.
Attracting new and loyal customers isn’t as simple this time of year. You need a plan in order to effectively handle the holiday and propel business growth in a long-lasting way. To help prepare for prime shopping events like, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday and several others, take some steps to stay in the game and promote your business for the holidays,
What are your competitors doing for the holidays and how you can plan similar sales or activities.
Brainstorm how you can set your offerings apart from the rest, such as running a giveaway or planning a local event.
Some shoppers will enjoy extra activities, especially on Small Business Saturday. Others, like Cyber Monday shoppers just want to find the best sale.
You may want to offer a sale on some items. The exact sale you choose will differ but could include:
- Buy one, get one free
- Buy one, get one 50% off
- Free gift with a purchase of $_____
- A percentage off the regular price
- Enter a giveaway
It is never too early to start thinking about a holiday marketing strategy. Your business can use a holiday marketing strategy for branding, and the message should be personal and unique: What is something about your business that is different than all the others? Design your marketing materials to include information about what you offer. Make those details part of your marketing strategy.
Use social media
This can help increase traffic and sales. When you regularly post on social media, you have the chance to increase awareness of your business and your brand. You also get to engage with potential customers who can interact with your posts and share with their friends and family.
The work you put into maintaining a strong social media presence can generate sales. According to 2023 Social Commerce Market Report, 47 percent of people surveyed have bought products on social media. These customers may also be inspired by social media to buy products from you.
Often overlooked: Stock up on inventory and supplies
You want to be prepared for the holiday rushes that may come upon you, so be aware of major holidays in which shoppers have. Then, order inventory ahead of time so that you don’t run short on product or raw materials to make meals and products like rubs and seasonings you sell. This is a good time to check sales from previous years and estimate the growth in sales that you might see this year.
Many customers love getting into the holiday spirit, and nothing says holiday cheer more than festive decorations or seasonal scents. Think about the little touches that make the holiday experience sweeter for your customers. You could run a contest related to your business, such as a kids’ art contest to do a painting of a barbeque grill with a pulled pork or some other idea. Most businesses will put their holiday displays front and center, so plan a display for your food truck or facility that adds fun. Some local business districts will get together to display decorations in the surrounding area.
Plan about labor issues
While you’re making a plan for your holiday rushes, consider what you might do if your employees decide to quit. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 3.5 million people left their employers in August this year.
You may want to hire seasonal workers to heighten the customer service experience for the holidays. You can also show these seasonal workers how to perform other tasks so that you can use them to fill in for other employees if needed. They can help in a pinch if employees need a sick day or do end up leaving.
Giving back doesn’t just feel good, it can also benefit your business. Many people make shopping choices based on a company’s record of charitable giving, (70% say charitable giving factors into purchases). Another bonus is that your giving is tax-deductible.
Here are a few ways to give back this holiday season:
- Dedicate a percentage of sales to a charitable organization
- Hold special sales on specific days or times and donate proceeds to the charity of your choice
Its critical to put quality thinking time into your business awareness and to show customers why they should buy what you offer.