9 ‘Do Now’ Strategies for Holiday Success

9 'Do Now' Strategies for Holiday Success


Is your business prepared to optimize the holidays? With Halloween barely a memory, we have officially entered the holiday season. And if you haven’t already done so, it’s time implement your holiday strategies to make the most of this fleeting, busy and highly profitable time of year.


Whether your business relies on the holiday shopping frenzy or not, every business can benefit from a thoughtfully implemented holiday strategic plan.


Here are 9 great tips for preparing yours; adapted from Rhonda Abrams article in USA Today.





Ormond Rankin



9 ‘Do Now’ Strategies for Holiday Success


For many small businesses, the holidays represent half of annual sales. The final quarter is a make-or-break time of year.


That’s not just for retail. Restaurants, hotels, personal services like salons, even business-service providers such as accountants and lawyers, can be busiest during the holiday season.


If you think you have plenty of time to get ready for the holidays, think again. You’ve got to get going if you’re going to ring up holiday success this year for your small business.


If you sell anything that might be given as a present – whether a physical gift, a gift certificate for a personal service such as visit to a spa or a session with a golf pro, even a mobile app, it’s time to get out there in front of potential customers.


After all, many customers already are doing their holiday shopping.

According to Value Click Media, consumers start their holiday shopping early:

  • 39% before Halloween
  • 40% in November
  • 21% in December

This year, some shoppers will be buying much earlier. Why? Because in 2013, the first night of the Jewish holiday Hanukkah starts the night before Thanksgiving. That Nov. 27 date is astonishingly early.

Some people are calling this Thanksgivukkah, and it promises to be a big deal. Why? Usually, Hanukkah aligns closely with Christmas -the last time Hanukkah was this early was 1899.


When planning for your holiday activities, remember that this year only 26 full shopping days will happen between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That means a more condensed Christmas shopping season and more frazzled customers.


Here are 9 strategies to do now for small business holiday success:


1. Order greeting cards to send to customers, prospects and key vendors.


2. Choose and order affordable gifts for your best customers. In my company, we send boxes of See’s chocolates, and some of my customers remind me to be sure to keep them on the list.


3. Arrange for gift cards or gift certificates to sell. This is especially important if you offer a personal service, classes, training, or anything else you can’t put in a box and wrap. Gift cards are the No. 1 requested present.


4. Plan a holiday party or open house. It can be a way to draw people into your business before the holidays or to deepen relations with customers and employees.


5. Attend holiday mixers from business and community groups. Bring your business cards and have your elevator pitch ready.


6. Plan your Black Friday (Nov 29), Small Business Saturday (Nov 30), and Cyber Monday (Dec 2) promotions.


7. Plan and write your e-mail newsletters. Include special seasonal offers, new products, events and holiday hours.


8. Create a schedule for social-media marketing, what you’ll post and when. You can write many of them now and schedule them with an app like Hootsuite. Be sure to include pictures.


9. Set up a customer relationship management program now if you don’t have one. Capture the contact information from the influx of holiday customers for future marketing campaigns.


With just a bit of planning, the holiday season can make 2013 one of your best years ever.


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