…not much reeeeally.”
And frankly, that’s what I have come to expect—small, local businesses, decorating their shops a bit and maybe running a Christmas offer, but that’s about it.
Here in the UK, we refer to the December holiday season under the collective shorthand of “Christmas” though, of course, we honor all ways of celebrating this wonderful time of the year. To us, a holiday is a nice warm sunny vacation on a remote island.
Regardless of what you call this time of year or how you might celebrate, one thing is clear…
If you’re a small business, you need to be able to market your business properly so you can make the most of it.
Here are five ways to do just that:
1. Help your customers get through Christmas
Christmas is hectic at best and very stressful at worst, so give your customers a helping hand to get through it. This could be in the form of taking advanced orders, running local deliveries, letting them pay in advance (or in installments), setting up extra appointment times to fit everyone in, sharing advice in your specialist area, or offering wrapping services for gifts. Whatever you choose to do, make sure you tell people about it! Which leads me on to….
2. Tell them what you’re doing (and what you’re not)
For example, if you have extended opening hours for Christmas, let people know, but also tell them what days you’ll be closed. Make sure you tell people well in advance and tell them again and again. So, list it on your website, send a special purpose email just with those details in it, and then add it as a sidebar item to any other emails you send out. Get the idea?
3. Spread some Christmas cheer
Christmas is the season of giving and goodwill to all men (even that chap down the road who looks at you funny—or is that just me?). So spread some cheer by offering your existing customers something special. That doesn’t have to be a discount, but it could be express postage, priority appointments, or some additional product or service bundled into their normal order.
4. Keep doing the good things you do all year round
Just because it’s Christmas, you don’t need to have some sort of weird professional-personality transplant. Your customers love you because of who you are all year round, not just at Christmas. So keep doing the same sorts of things your customers have come to expect, you don’t want to disappoint them at a time of year when they are under more pressure than usual!
5. Say “thank you”
Everyone loves a bit of appreciation, so make a point of thanking your customers for being with you throughout the year. It’s much nicer to have a heartfelt message of thanks than just a normal “seasons greetings” type message.
Everyone should be able to do these five things, especially if you get it planned right now.
Want some more help on marketing during the Christmas period? Register for our free event called Boosting Your Business this Christmas with Email & Facebook. It’s taking place in London on 17 October as part of European SME Week. Looking forward to seeing you there!