The holidays might be dominated by the big market companies and their Black Friday insanity, and they might start putting up Christmas trees before Halloween, but none of that means small businesses need to miss out on the maelstrom of marketing and the chance to bring in a big time customer base. The big wakes put through the frothing frenzy of shopping in these last few months of the year are just as easily sailed by small businesses.
Connie Certusi of Sage Small Business Accounting recently shared with us some tips for small businesses during these, the retail ‘happy days’ of the holiday season. “It’s the perfect time to appreciate your current customers,” said Connie, “while gaining new ones.”
- Facebook. If you have not used Facebook for your business, you’re certainly missing out on one of the most basic of marketing tools. Get a page going for your business and immediately start with any promotions you’re planning for the season. Help “build buzz” far in advance and get your customers to share them with others, which will only increase your exposure.
- Google Places for Business. This gives you an ‘in’ with one of the largest search engines on the planet, where you can promote your company and its business in your market(s), as well as use it like Facebook to share your promotions and specials.
- Coupons. In the product you’re shipping now, why not throw in a coupon for a percentage off? This will give your already-existing customers even more reason to come back and visit you.
- Gift Suggestions. Some customers might need a little guidance to help find the right gift; you can include your own input towards this on your website or social media page(s), along with helpful contact information to make it easier for them to get a hold of you.
- Mobile Devices. Think about the last time you saw a QR code…and think about how it can help you get the traffic you’re looking for. QR codes are easy and quick to generate (try QR Stuff for one of many possibilities), and best of all, free.
- Other Pointers. Not everything you share with your customers needs to necessarily be focused on selling. I know, I know…but think about it. Offer your customers other tips on how to save time or money in their perfect gift search. You’ll earn your customer’s respect, probably gain followers on your social media sites, and none of that could hurt when it comes to eventually generating sales that you might not have otherwise had.
Holiday shopping might not exactly be brain surgery, but it certainly can be as stressful. Anything you can do on your end to make things easier for your customers…or even better, fun and interesting…will help you not only generate holiday sales but also sales well into the New Year. Provided that Mayan calendar thing is wrong, of course.