December is a great time of year for small businesses to roll out the red carpet and treat customers like kings. Whether your industry naturally surges or lags during the holidays, you can always attempt to boost sales and interest with exciting seasonal promotions. Studying big business initiatives and finding ways to adapt them for smaller markets has helped me consult and advise small business owners. Here are five promotional ideas that can help make a bottom-line difference this winter month.
Morning with Santa
Hosting a celebratory get-together one Saturday morning in December can do wonders in terms of building goodwill. Let parents bring in their children and get a free picture with Santa Claus. Provide hot cocoa and some cookies, producing a party atmosphere. Business owners have to adapt holiday meet and greets to suit the limitations of their stores and the preferences of their customers. If you sell Jewish yarmulkes, for example, featuring the folkloric figure at the shop may not have the same draw as it does for other companies. Look at your core clientele and tailor a holiday party to them. As needed, keep company-related celebrations religiously neutral so all feel welcome and wanted.
Free holiday gift
In your monthly email newsletter or in a flyer you can mail, send your last 100 customers a voucher to come to the store and pick up a free gift the week before Christmas. Determine what of your budget can be used for the promotion and set the parameters accordingly. As needed, consider offering the free gift with a $10 purchase. You obviously don't want to lose money from the offer, but you do want to provide something enticing enough to get folks back into the store.
Extended holiday hours
Lobby for more business through the holiday season by extending store hours. Announce the accommodating schedule as a way to help customers make it through the busy time of the year. Keeping your store open for longer, even with a reduced staff on hand, can help clients make purchases their schedules would otherwise prohibit.
Family & friends evening
As dictated by the structure of your organization, invite employees to bring their family and friends to the store for an evening in December. Revamping a traditional work party by opening up the event to other potential customers can be a useful way to bring in the holiday cheer and show off what a great heart and feel your small business has.
Coupons for the new year
Make sure customers start off the new year right by having extra incentives to come in to your store. Throughout the month of December, give customers discount coupons for their next purchases. Mail flyers out with New Year's offers on new products and services to get clients excited for what's to come. If you don't already have an online presence where customers can sign up for updates and offers, build one. Having digital coupons that go directly into a client's inbox is the perfect way to provide incentives at no printing costs to the company.
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