5 WAYS TO SPRUCE UP YOUR SMALL BUSINESS FOR THE HOLIDAYS
Fill in the blank: "It's the most _______ time of the year."
If you said "stressful", "confusing", or "daunting", you might be a small business owner facing the holiday rush... and you're not alone. The stretch from Thanksgiving through the new year always feels supercharged with high stakes shopping and specialized marketing that's only relevant and usable but once a year.
On top of higher consumerist energy, I know what you're thinking: show me the money! This time of year is essential for small businesses -- I get it! You work hard for the other 11 months of the year, and now you're ready to reap in the benefits with higher profits and skyrocketing sales numbers as gift-giving booms.
Whether you sell gifts, products, or services of any kind, I'm here to tell you that you don't have to start from scratch just because the weather is changing. Sure, your marketing for the holidays needs to feel specialized (and special), but you don't have to reinvent your entire stock or brand image in order to attract bigger, better business for the holidays. You have the tools well within your reach to add some holiday flavor to your brand's marketing outreach... without creating an entirely new and niche (and certainly not evergreen) sales strategy.
I've got you covered with these 5 ways to spruce up your small business for the holidays. This list could truly be much longer, so this is by no means comprehensive. If you've got an idea that will kickstart sales as snow begins to fall, go for it! But if writer's block has reared its ugly head, check out these 5 simple strategies to put the "merry and bright" into your profit margins.
1. Create a combo
We love a deal! Without having to create a new product or launch a new service, you can absolutely package preexisting items into one combo. This simple rebrand not only saves you time and energy, it's also a great way to show customers the incredible value of the deal they're getting. For example: if you normally sell your necklaces for $100 and your earrings separately for $75, you can sell it as a set for $125. This number seems high... but if you spell out the value of savings, your customers will see "S-A-L-E" written in neon letters. A great technique is price-slashing: explain on your website or social media that for the holidays only, you're offering the normally distinct products in a bundle, and it will cost them just $125 -- NOT $175. That's a savings of $50 that they won't pass up... but you have to spell out for them the amount of cash they're actually saving! Don't make your clients guess, and you'll both be happy.
2. Offer a free gift
This tip is super flexible and will look different for every business. If you sell handcrafted stationery, perhaps a free gift would be personalization or customization of the letterhead. If you make candles and perfumes, perhaps a free scented mini-candle with any large candle purchase is more your scene. You see where I'm going? Tailor your free gift offer to your specific company's niche, but the common theme is (again) -- spell out for your customers that it's FREE. If you want to include any terms for that gift's validity, be sure to make that clear upfront. You don't want to lose an upset customer because they thought their free gift didn't come with strings attached. This might be a minimum subtotal or purchase limit, a limited-time window, or something else entirely. Whatever your terms are, make them clear and showcase how much you care about your clientele by setting clear expectations around everyone's favorite guarantee: FREE.
3. Launch a new product or holiday line
This one might seem obvious, but it's worth repeating. If you have the time and inspiration, by all means -- make something NEW. A holiday-themed gift set or never-before-seen launch of a holiday line is thrilling for customers, regardless of your industry. This strategy obviously comes with more work, both from creation and marketing standpoints. If you make a new product or create a new service... you'll need emails, ads, product descriptions, or sales pages to show it off. Give yourself the best chance for success by spreading the word in phases: announce an "exciting new announcement" on social media and via email, and then follow up with your big holiday launch, as promised.
4. Rename a product or service
If creating a whole new product feels like too much (and trust me, it can be), a simple rebrand can do the trick! Take an existing product or service and give it a fresh name-tag for the holidays. Freshen up the sales copy and product descriptions to reflect the name change, and consider changing the price to complete the picture. Lowering the price tells your consumer that you're having a holiday sale, and raising it (slightly) lets your clientele know that this is a speciality item for the season of giving. Make the name change worth it -- meaning, don't just rename something for the sake of it! Shake things up with a holiday-themed name or one that really reflects your brand's mission.
5. Rep other small business in a virtual “shopping crawl” ... and add yourself to the list
'Tis the season to spread good cheer, right? Show your other small business friends some love, and you'll be amazed at how quickly the favor is returned. Highlight other favorite shopping-small features on your social media or newsletter. Ironically, while this isn't a hard sell from you, it paints a great picture of the kind of generous business owner you are... which will lead to curiosity, warm leads, and sales! A simple strategy would be to make a list of all the small businesses you'll be buying from this season, and include your brand last on the list. Throw yourself some love and highlight your hardworking friends. Emailing these lists as checklists or treasure hunts can feel interactive and fun for your customers! If you're on social media, be sure to tag yourself and the other businesses in your post for easy impulse buying.
Adding life into your marketing strategies is a necessity for the holidays, but it doesn't have to keep you up at night. Try these 5 tips for easy brand refreshers, and let me know how it goes!
Let's finish this year off with a BANG (... that's the sound of your wallet exploding with unprecedented sales)!