Holiday Season 101 for Retail Small Businesses

holiday season 101

It seems like every year, retail giants begin the holiday shopping season earlier than the last. While Target has vowed to avoid the “Christmas creep” in 2017, other stores are already displaying the holiday tinsel and all the trappings right beside the pumpkins and pilgrim-themed dinnerware.

While many customers are vocal about their disdain for Christmas coming before the Thanksgiving menu has even been planned, there’s no denying that late October and early November is prime holiday planning time for small businesses, which have to get ready for Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday.

Here are our best tips for making this holiday season the best one yet for your small business.

Put It Down on Paper

This time of year, you likely have a million ideas for handling your marketing efforts over the holidays. But they’re not doing you much good bouncing around in your overtaxed brain.

Take some time to map out your strategy, week by week, on paper or in a spreadsheet. When will you send out your holiday sales flyer? When will you begin actively promoting contests, giveaways or other social marketing campaigns? When will you “deck your halls” — real or virtual?

Providing yourself with a road map now will make life easier for you once the holiday season kicks into high gear and you’re busier than normal.

Create Your Ads in Advance

If you plan on using AdWords, Facebook Canvas or any other pay-to-play marketing strategy, now is the time to get these ads created. Again, time comes at a premium during the holidays, so get ahead of the game now and free up those minutes and hours for when you really need them.

Want to take your proactive approach further? Create your holiday social media posts, too. Whether you keep them stockpiled on your computer, or go the extra mile and use a scheduling platform like Hootsuite to set them and forget them, it’s one less thing you’ll have to do later.

Kick Off the Holidays in Style

Whether you choose to wait until after Thanksgiving to officially launch your holiday season or join the early-bird crowd, a kickoff event can get your customers in the spirit of things.

If you have a brick-and-mortar store, host an open house complete with festive music, decorations, refreshments and giveaways. Is your business online-only? No problem! Host a social media party on Facebook Live with special deals and prizes.

Hire Some Help

For small retail businesses, the holiday season is probably your most profitable — and with more profits comes more work. Be honest about your capacity. Your customers aren’t going to love long lines, excessive processing and shipping times or nonexistent customer service, so don’t be afraid to hire some seasonal help if you need it.

The same goes for your holiday marketing. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to be front and center in your own business, especially during such a fun, festive time. If this is a priority for you, leave the marketing to the professionals — namely, us!

It may still be a bit early to break out the Santa suit and reindeer antlers, but it’s never too early to start developing a holiday marketing strategy. Start early, bank as much time as you can and make it a holiday season to remember!

Are you ready to start planning? Get in touch with Mischa Communications and let us help you through December and beyond!