Top 10 Holiday "Must Do's" for Small Business Owners
Small business retailers are likely already feeling snowed under by the ramp-up of the busy holiday season. The small business experts at FedEx Office have a “Top 10” list of tips and actionable advice on what retailers can do now to get ready for a successful and profitable holiday.
1. Track your finances - The cost of office supplies add up. Take advantage of discounts and use reward programs to help your budget stay in-check.
2. Create a plan - Consumer demand means plans may change. Forecast worst and best case scenarios. How much product is needed? What are printing and shipping deadlines? Local pack and ship services can help save time and money.
3. Use technology - Create electronic copies of all your flyers, business cards, advertisements, etc. beforehand. Digital files can easily be sent to print using any web browser, supported mobile apps or file sharing services.
4. Leverage key events - Plan to take part in Small Business Saturday which takes place November 30 across the country and encourages shoppers to choose small businesses for their holiday shopping.
5. Stay organized - Keep a creative and up-to-date office calendar in clear view for employees to see. Print a dry-erase or laminated, oversized calendar and include important dates such as your busiest days, the office holiday party, approved vacation time, shipping deadlines, etc.
6. Customize your look - Create marketing materials that set you apart from your competitors. Design custom holiday event, discount brochures, envelopes, and flyers. Design Services, templates and samples are available to help with your seasonal needs.
Focus on Your Customers
7. Be engaging - Eye-catching, colorful and clear storefront signage is a great way to attract new customers during the holiday season. *Eight in ten American consumers enter a store and 68% make a purchase after noticing an eye catching sign. Create custom holiday signage that is bold and bright with a simple message.
8. Stand out - Consumers’ inboxes are flooded with newsletters and e-marketing announcements. Brochures and flyers received via standard mail see less competition than email. Gain that seasonal edge by delighting customers with a holiday themed direct mailer such as a personalized letter recapping the highlights of your year; or a postcard inviting your customers to a holiday open house.
9. Say thank you - Reward loyal customers. Use your customer mailing list to send out holiday cards that not only thank them for their continual business, but include coupons or discount announcements that will keep them coming back for more. If your time and list size permit, try using a hand written address and personal salutation to increase the personal impact of the card.
10. Get personal - Set goals to reach out personally via phone call or personalized direct mail to your customers beginning mid-January to begin discussions on their plans and needs for the New Year. Being proactive and consistent in your outreach helps them think of your business when the need arises.
* FedEx Office “What’s Your Sign?” April 2012 survey