Hobby Lobby, Target, Dollar Tree and even Starbucks have been getting us ready for the holiday season since mid-October. Let’s be completely honest, this isn’t a made-up commercial holiday that snuck up on you. When I had my online boutique in July, I was preparing my business for the holiday season. It’s a billion dollar season, and you deserve to have a couple of slices of the customer and revenue pie.
Since June, I have been working with my clients regarding preparing their business for this upcoming holiday season. If you have seven dollars, I will invest in the Holiday Guide For Small Business I created, it’s chalked full of information to help you win this season. The reason, I am very adamant about growing business local this year is because more and more people understand the importance of shopping and supporting people in their local community. That means your small business even if its online business.
This is the perfect time to be at every holiday happy hour or networking event in a 60-mile radius of your home. Civic clubs, book clubs, companies and more are hosting events double the next two months. You need to make a plan to attend two events a week to connect with others. Make sure you are dressed to impress and don’t hide in the corner. One of my best networking tips is picking a color. Everyone who has that color on you need to talk with. When I first started using this tip, I picked green or yellow. Less likely I had to speak to a million people. Help me break the ice easier.
Bonus: if you own a product based company have your product on you. Wear your t-shirts under a blazer with a cute statement necklace. Clients have landed sales by having their product on them.
In the last couple months, I have seen the power of Facebook ads for small business. They can bring traffic to your website, drive people to your newsletter and more. One of the greatest things is you can invest as little as $2 a day when doing an ad. If you did a $5 ad with a high reach for the rest of the year, it would be a small invest of $225. When targeting your audience, you can use people who have already visited your website, your email list or create a segment of users who are looking for. One of the biggest investments you will make is the imagery and copy you utilize to convert these views into sales. Take multiple images or creating several options asking your friends and family to help you decided. There are some great articles on Pinterest talking about Facebook Ads.
Pop Up Shops or Trunk Shows
As a kid, I had fond memories of my mom hosting Mary Kay or Tupperware parties at our home for her friends. Or we were at my godmother’s house as she did the same. This is something people want to get back into. The luxury of not having to leave home and host a private shopping event in their home. This is a tip I gave my clients a couple of months ago actually. Write a list of five or ten friends who are willing to allow you and one more person set up shop for a Saturday for an hour. In addition to that, more and more cities have business bazaars during this times. More and more people are hoping to get on this just like you. Look up farmer markets, holiday market, or business bazaar with your city name in it.
First Purchased Cards
In October, Inc Magazine talked about how direct mailer is making a huge impact on local business. This is an expensive version of the first purchase cards I can not stop talking about. If you have $2,000 around I, highly suggest investing in this. When direct mailers come to my house, I read each one and utilize the ones that caught me. If that is not in your budget, I highly suggest creating first purchase cards. They are the sister cards to Next Purchase Cards. They are an introduction card you create to pass out around your town. Head out to your local Starbucks, Target, Mall to pass them out to individuals who look like your target audience.
Yes, I realize most papers are featuring small businesses who pay for advertorial but do not limit yourself. Create a list of local magazines, newspapers, and blogs with your target audience. Do background research on their editorial calendar and pitch your small business. Trust me; it’s easier than you think. Recently, I reached out to a friend who works for FOX News in a majority city. She provided me with all the details to help a client pitch a producer. The hardest thing is taking a leap to pitch yourself.
I really want you to win this holiday season but it truly means stepping it up and invest in your business. Trust me; even on the smallest budget you can kill it this holiday season if you invest the money right. I talked about various budget levels last year in How To Do Holiday Marketing On A Budget.