Many businesses make the majority of their yearly revenue during the holidays, so it's important to have a solid strategy in place to make the most of the season. There are a few key areas to focus on when preparing your small business for the holiday season: decorating your store, hiring seasonal help, marketing changes, creating an easy gift guide, helping last-minute shoppers, and supporting your local community. Keep reading for tips from the Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce on how to excel in each of these areas.
Decorating Your Store for the Holidays
One of the first things you'll want to do as you start preparing your small business for the holiday season is giving your store a festive makeover. This will help get customers into the holiday spirit and make them more likely to do their shopping with you. Some ideas for decorating your store for the holidays include stringing up lights, putting up a holiday-themed sign or banner, setting out a holiday display, and playing festive music.
Hiring Seasonal Help
If you don't already have enough staff to cover the increased demand during the holidays, now is the time to start hiring seasonal help. Seasonal employees can be a great asset to your business—they're usually enthusiastic and excited to work during such a busy time of year. To find qualified candidates, post job listings online and in local newspapers or job boards. You can also reach out to schools and universities in your area to see if any students are interested in working part-time or full-time during the holidays.
Marketing Changes for the Holidays
The holidays are also a good time to mix up your marketing strategy. Create special holiday offers and discounts to entice customers to shop with you instead of your competition. You can promote these offers through your website, social media channels, email newsletters, and local advertising. You might also want to consider doing some targeted holiday advertising on Google or other search engines.
Creating an Easy Gift Guide Using PDFs
One way to make things easier on holiday shoppers is by creating a gift guide using PDFs. This guide can include items that are popular this year, unique gifts that can only be found at your store, and stocking stuffers under $25 (or whatever price range you prefer). Once you have your guide, this tool can help convert PDF to jpeg to make it shareable on social media. You can promote your gift guide online and in-store by hanging up posters or placing table tents around your store. You might even want to hand out physical copies of the guide to customers as they come in—that way they'll have it handy when they're ready to start shopping.
Helping Last-Minute Shoppers
There will always be last-minute shoppers who wait until the last week (or even day!) before a major holiday to start buying gifts. To accommodate these procrastinators, extend your store hours leading up to the end of December—and if possible, stay open later than usual. You can also promote express shipping options or in-store pickup for those who wait until the last minute but still need their gifts ASAP.
Supporting Your Local Community
Finally, don't forget about supporting your local community during the holidays. There are many ways you can give back, such as donating items or gift cards to charity auctions or drives, offering discounts to local teachers or first responders, or hosting an event where proceeds go towards a local cause. Giving back not only helps those in need—it also makes your small business look good and builds goodwill amongst potential customers.
As you can see, there are a lot of things to keep in mind as you prepare your small business for the holiday season! By focusing on decorating your store, hiring seasonal help, marketing changes, creating an easy gift guide using PDFs, helping last-minute shoppers, and supporting your local community, you'll be well on your way to having a successful holiday season!
Membership in the Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce offers invaluable benefits to entrepreneurs in our community. Join us today!