For the small business, it is never too early to talk about Christmas! In fact, if your business is able to benefit in any way from the Christmas season and you have not already started planning for this, you are leaving it rather late! So here are our Top Ten Tips about how your business could jump on the festive bandwagon - or, should we say, Santa’s Sleigh?!
- Create a Christmas “limited edition” version of your product. For example, if you produce scarves or bags or cushions, do a small run with a Christmas theme.
- Target the Christmas gift market. As well as your Christmas limited edition range you could produce gift vouchers for your product or service.
- Use Christmas marketing and advertising opportunities. In addition to all your normal marketing, are there additional channels and opportunities that you can take advantage of during the Christmas season? For example many newspapers and magazines run special Christmas shopping features with advertising space available.
- Create a presence at Christmas markets and Christmas fayres. These can be an ideal place to sell your products to a receptive audience and also to get yourself better known.
- Promote a Christmas special offer e.g. discounted price on bulk buys, free gift, voucher for use against future purchase.
- Run a Christmas competition. This could either be something people have to do related to your product such as a caption competition or enter names (and email addresses!) into a Christmas draw
- Target the children - 1. At Christmas most parents are desperate to give their children gifts and experiences that they will really love. If your product or service fits the bill then market it to parents for all its worth. If not then see if you can offer some incentive targeted at children such as family cinema tickets for a spend of over a certain amount (making sure you still come out on top!)
- Target the children - 2. The other thing that parents are desperate for in the festive season is time! Is there a possibility your business could put on an event for children? This does not have to be anything major: depending on the size of your business it might just be a 2 hour workshop to get them to create something relevant to your business. Yes, there are logistics (e.g. someone to run it with a CRB check) but it could pay dividends in terms of building up long term local reputation.
- Create good cheer. If you are a local business then anything from handing out mulled wine/ mince pies/ chocolates outside your premises or singing carols for charity can raise your profile and get you noticed.
- It’s a wrap! So many people hate wrapping presents that if you are a local business and offered this service you’d be very popular indeed! Are there older children of staff members who could come and do this? Ensure they can do it well and set them to work. It could be combined with donations for charity which, again, will benefit both that charity and your business
Not all the above examples will be relevant to every business - they depend on what kind of business you are in - but we hope that some of them will have given you some ideas and inspiration!