Many small business owners and entrepreneurs make a good portion of their yearly sales during the last few months of the year according to the National Retail Foundation.
Maximize Profits During The Holidays Through Loyalty
This isn’t to say a small business needs to start a loyalty program with cards, points and so forth, but rather to focus on what makes customers come back, year after year, to do business with a local business. Which of these ideas might work?
- Review local media regarding customers wanting to get closer to their roots to either shop locally or focus more on traditional, family-based values. How do these issues affect the business, and how can they be used to connect customers with products or services?
- Connect with local organizations to let people know in the community that the business cares and is deeply entrenched in the success of the area. How? By donating to charities, helping organize community events, sponsoring local holiday events, and/or working with groups to allow them space, time or resources.
- Arrange large, special events for the locals that no other business can. Speaking tours, yearly contests, or housing an installment of an art walk are all ways to build customer loyalty and maximize profits during the holidays.
Maximize Profits By Focusing On Holiday Sales Marketing
Marketing can encompass a great many things, and planning for the holidays doesn’t change that. What does change however is knowing how the holidays changes marketing focus, and what customers are looking for. So, to maximize profits during this time of year, try:
- Ensure that all products being sold for holiday profit are exactly what customers are looking for, especially towards the end of the season. This means having those “must buy” items in stock for last minute shoppers, as well as providing easy access to these products early on in as well.
- Make a holiday sales plan based on past performance, other retailers in similar markets, and suppliers – and then stick to it. For example, if buyers don’t normally look for deep discounts until Boxing Day in the area, don’t bother offering them until then.
- Take a peek at what is selling sluggishly and mark it down accordingly so that there isn’t extra inventory after the holidays that requires even more slashing.
Maximize Profits With A Specialized Holiday Sales Plan
It is increasingly difficult to compete with the big box stores as entrepreneurs because of the large chains’ deep marketing budgets. But that doesn’t mean that its pointless to create a specialized holiday sales plan – it just means catering more to specific customer niches and ensuring they are captured with an appropriate message. Some ideas to ensure a larger, captive audience:
- Use those emails addresses culled over the past year and create a special holiday newsletter for all past customers. Just make sure not to make a holiday sales email the first of emails received in a long time; not only does it make an entrepreneur look desperate, it can backfire if customers get wind of this.
- Try targeted geographical online marketing via Yahoo! or Google.
- Discuss mail drops with your local post office that focus only on those in the area that will most benefit from the businesses’ holiday message.
- Jump on the social networking bandwagon and start creating a following via MySpace, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and the like.