As a small business owner, you’re probably under the impression that it’d be tough for you to compete with the giant retailers of the world during the Holidays. How can you, with your tiny marketing budget, compete with corporate giants such as Wal-Mart or Amazon during the holiday season? Well, I believe you can. You just have to be smarter about your marketing and how you use your resources.
Indeed, as a small business owner, you have several advantages over large retailers, as your business is far more nimble and flexible, capable of instantly adapting itself to changes. This is as true as in a service oriented small business, as it is in other traditional businesses. As an independent business owner, you’re better equipped to offer a personalized customer service of the highest quality and, offer outstanding customer support and sales service. This enables you to compete far more effectively against a much bigger business during the Holiday Season, whether during Black Friday, Christmas or during New Year’s Eve.
The strategies I’m going to tell you about are really quite effective, and proven to do wonders for business owners to maximize sales during the Holiday Season.
There are several strategies you can use for a highly effective marketing campaign on a budget during the Holiday Season:
1. Go to the people, don’t wait for them to come to you.
People are already on the internet looking for things to buy for their friends and family. Leverage this extra online traffic by directing people to your site through attractive offers.
At networking events, pass attractively made brochures or mini books that emphasize what you have to offer them. During the holidays, most folks are in a good mood, and they’re more likely to hear you out than they would at a different time of the year. Provide them value in some way and you will see your time and effort go far.
2. Use Social Media Marketing.
Using social media is a cost effective strategy for marketing your business. Integrate all your social media business accounts across different platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, video sharing services such as YouTube, use social media management tools and smart tactics such as a well thought out hashtag for your business on Twitter.
Reach out to your audience, offer attractive discounts and deals, offer amazing promotional offers to your fans or followers, do whatever it takes to make it work.
3. Use Gift Cards.
Surveys done by marketing agencies show that 95% of buyers during the Holiday Season use gift cards. It’s very easy to create gift cards, once you have got the gift cards and coupons made, distribute them quickly through the social media, by Facebook advertizing or by using pay-per-click advertising on Google.
4. Have extended guarantees, return policies and after sales support.
Extend your holiday return period by a couple of weeks, extend up to February if you can. This would make your business attractive for customers who would rather wait for the post holiday return rush to be over, and want the extra security in knowing they can take their time instead of being rushed.
5. Offer Something Extra: Bulk Discounts, bundle products with services, etc.
Offer 5 for the price of 3, a 5% cut if the total purchases exceed $500 and other attractive deals. Offer free services such as free gift wrapping on sales exceeding $50 or so, and so on. Offer extra consulting hours when they buy a certain number of sessions from you. Customers love holiday deals.
6. Be a part of the community.
Engage in local community activities, be actively involved in charities, develop deeper relationships, emphasize on the need to support small businesses, send attractive press releases through the local newspapers – create a connect between yourself and the local community.
This holiday season, work on cultivating a loyal customer base, who would always be committed to you. Support your small community and they will support you.
7. Reach out to the whole family.
Be sure to emphasize how you help people. Yes, your product and service might be innovative but they mainly care about how you can support them on their journey to making their dreams come true.
Remember, during this Holiday Season, spread the holiday cheer, and surely, people will reciprocate.