The Holiday season is upon us and that means most of us will be spending a little extra 'dough' when we're out shopping. For small business owners and entrepreneurs however, the season means a welcomed boost in sales and the opportunity to reach more customers with their products and services.
Related: Reach more customers this holiday season with online marketing
Check it out: Just in November, we have important dates like Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday. And although these are great opportunities to grow sales and get the word out about your small business, you should be able to keep that momentum going all year long. So, to help you thrive 365 days a year, here are two simple tips you can use to boost sales this holiday season and beyond.
1.) Create Your Own 'Holidays'
I'm not suggesting you write a letter to the government and ask for a special day to be named after your small business (although that would be pretty awesome). I'm talking about the need to identify special times of the year that make sense for your business to offer special incentives and freebies to your customers.
Grab a calendar and think of a few different times each year when you can celebrate your small business in a unique way. You can either choose established holidays, such as President's Day or Labor Day, or make up your own that ties specifically to your business. For example, if you're a pie bakery you can declare a particular day as 'Pie Appreciation Day.' Whatever model you choose, these are dates when you can aggressively promote special sales or offer exclusive incentives to customers. Maybe free gift-wrapping or a nice surprise gift to each customer who says the secret code "your small business rocks" when they pay. Whatever it is, don't be afraid to have fun with it. You decide what best fits your small business.
- Start Small: As you're formulating your plans, don't worry about coming up with three or four 'holidays' right away. Start with one and build on from there. This will allow enough time for planning, promoting and creating awareness for your 'holiday' without it becoming too overwhelming. This will also help your customers and prospects become more familiar with your 'holiday' and they can start spreading the word themselves. Once you experience success from your first 'holiday,' you can try this three or four times a year to take advantage of each season.
- Don't Break the Bank: It's important that you don't overspend with your 'holidays' so you can actually see some profits from your efforts. You don't need anything too fancy; pick a theme or trend to celebrate and think of how you can make the most of it in one day. Think 'DIY' (do it yourself) or start building relationships with other businesses that could benefit from participating in your 'holiday' promotion. This gives them some extra exposure and strengthens your marketing muscle, because they're promoting it too. People love to see businesses support each other.
- Get Social: Social media platforms should be your best buds during these promotional campaigns. Using tools like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and location services like Yelp will help get some buzz going for your 'holidays' and allow you to build and grow community relationships and brand awareness. Plus, they're free to use.
2.) Offer Something Valuable-Run Contests
If you don't feel ready to create your own 'holiday' just yet, don't worry. Contests are a great way to get people excited about your small business and provide them something of value during the holidays, and throughout the year. Because of how easy the Internet and social media have made things; anyone can run a contest by using tools like GroSocial to help set everything up. In a post by TopRank, you can see five examples of brands that are successfully using online contests to attract interest in their product or service and capture more leads.
So there you have it. Two things you can start working on right now to keep your momentum going until next year. After you've done this once, you can re-use the ideas you've created to whatever fits your needs and the needs of your market.
Running these contest and promotions, and much more, can be a seamless process when you incorporate systems that can automate tasks like Infusionsoft. You can get organized, grow sales and save time all while enjoying a cup of hot cocoa and making some extra cash for your small business.
June Brockmeyer joined the Infusionsoft family in 2012 as a Brand Journalist and loves helping small businesses succeed.Having graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, she has a passion for creating multimedia content. Follow her on Twitter as @JBrocky1.
(Image: via flickr.com/)