Summer’s here and thoughts of year-end holiday sales may not be dancing in your head. But they should be.
Plan to succeed. For some of us the holiday season can provide 40 to 50% of our revenue for the year. The summer months are the time to step back, assess your business, and plan to make the most of November and December. Be sure you have the right mix of products (or services) and price points going into the season. What do you anticipate people will need or want? Talk to vendors to get a handle on product availability, special deals, and loss leaders. Be prepared to beef up equipment and staffing in the fall to meet the demands of the season.
Design your marketing campaign. Having the right stuff to do business is one thing, and promoting it is another. Develop a strategy to market your business and your products or services for the holidays. Determine the best marketing mix—brochures, newspaper, TV, or radio advertising, e-mail campaigns, and social media campaigns—for your products and services. Create a calendar for marketing tasks. During the summer months you can meet with advertising, design, and marketing specialists to work on brochure, sell sheet, and ad designs. You can create a calendar for press releases and social media posts, develop templates and a schedule for e-mail news, and investigate ad rates for newspapers, radio, or television.
Get your database in order. If you depend upon a clean customer database in order to reach your marketing and sales goals, make sure it is clean and accurate before you begin to ratchet up your holiday marketing.
Gifts and cards are a great way to say “thanks”. Begin to think about card and gift-giving now. Order unique cards or gifts for clients ahead of time. Ordering early may save you money, and it will be one less chore to complete during a busy season. Think of sending a special seasonal greeting or gift to potential customers as well