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How to Get the Most out of the Holidays: When it’s not Your Busy Season!

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How to Get the Most out of the Holidays: When it’s not Your Busy Season!

By Caron_Beesley, Contributor
Published: November 18, 2010 Updated: October 18, 2011

Ho! Ho! Ho!

It's holiday season once more and the malls and stores are strewn with festive décor and are aloud with the piped tunes of Bing Crosby!

But what if the holiday season is not your big selling season? For many service-based businesses and retail stores, the holidays can bring a sales blip, and at worst, cash flow issues.

This is why i;s more important than ever to use this time to stay engaged with your customer base, while keeping your business in good management and fiscal shape.

Here are four tips for making the most of holiday season- and ensuring your business remains top of mind into the new year, with a healthy bottom line to boot.

Don't Ignore Marketing during the Holidays

Yes, ok, it may not be your busiest season, but do't ignore the holidays. Dress up your office, your Web site, and your outbound marketing with seasonal touches (a graphic designer can help and email marketing software tools often include free holiday templates).

Send holiday cards to your best customers and, if you can afford it, a token gift to your most strategic customers.

Design a holiday e-newsletter that features a round-up of some of your achievements during the year (clients yo've helped succeed, charitable causes yo've helped, etc.) and, of course, a big thank you to your customers.

Offer a Holiday Special

Coupons, offers, and discounts have a place outside the shopping mall. Consider offering your clients special incentives.

Do't go with a shotgun approach. Instead, find out what your customers have planned for the holidays, or, in the case of business customers, what are their plans for Q1 2011?

Then tie your incentives to meet their needs' for example, a fixed price bundle of services 'Get X, Y, and Z for the value of Z) on a project that you can easily repeat and market to other customers. Make it a time-bound offer so that your clients act now so that you can secure your revenues and cash-flow - and incorporate it into your marketing (web site, email, flyers, etc.).

Use the Time to Meet, Greet, and Network

Networking is something you should be doing all year long, but if you have business clients, what better time to get out there and mingle. Schedule lunch, dinner or a quick meeting to review how you are doing, what you have to offer in 2011, and get a sneak peek into their plans for the new year too.

These two articles can help you get more from networking:

Take Care of Your Business - Re-group, Review and Plan Ahead

If this is your quiet season, enjoy a breather, celebrate your successes, but also use the time to plan.

Take stock of the business year, conduct employee reviews, and plan for the year ahead. This quick guide offers tips that can help: Taking Stock of the Business Year - How to Conduct a Year-End Review & Plan for the Year Ahead.

And, don't forget to take care of the physical upkeep of your business - whether it's renovation, winterizing your business, fleet maintenance, or odd jobs that you've been putting off.

Does your business slow down during the holidays? What's worked for you during this quiet time? Please leave a comment below.

About the Author:

Caron Beesley

Contributor

Caron Beesley is a small business owner, a writer, and marketing communications consultant. Caron works with the SBA.gov team to promote essential government resources that help entrepreneurs and small business owners start-up, grow and succeed. Follow Caron on Twitter: @caronbeesley

Comments:

Special holiday offers is very effective! Since many are buying and looking for promos. Businesses can make full advantage of this and if they add promos during holidays most likely is that they'll have an increase on sales! Apartment for Rent in the Philippines
This is great! 'Don't Ignore Marketing during the Holidays' Actually a nice idea I must implement to my website. I can see this giving users a great experience and bringing the holiday cheer to my website. When you look at the psychological aspect of it, Christmas makes people happy, Christmas is association today with spending money; now it may be a bad thing, but for website and business owners it can only help to take advantage of the times. So, a Christmas themed website for the holiday brings cheers, and will in theory loosen up peoples' wallets. I will start working on designing my Christmas Marketing Package for my website tomorrow. Thank you. Sincerely, Scott Ganim P.S. Happy Holidays, and Merry Christmas.---This post was edited to remove a commercial link. Read our discussion policies for more Community best practices.
I think marketing during holidays is the most important thing to do. I use to provide small discounts during holiday season when Christmas comes. It makes people paying attention to my business then I increase the sales and make a little bit more money.
Thanksgiving is not a 'busy' time for our kind of business. But I like the idea of 'winterizing' our website. I have noticed some blogs with snow flakes falling.  I just have to find out first if there's a script or plugin for these that can be applied to our e-store and consult with our web admin.  Decorating our website depending on the holiday sounds a good idea of making our e-store interesting but implementation would still depend with our web admin. Thanks, Caron. :)

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