As a business owner, making time to actually enjoy the holidays should be a priority, but you have to start early. There are some ways to make it less stressful. Start by taking a broad look at operations and marketing. These five focus areas should help you get a head start.
Five tips to prepare Your business for the holidays include.
- Stock up and staff up
- Delegate responsibility
- Freshen up your website
- Plan a marketing campaign
- Put things on autopilot
- Bonus tip: Don’t stop in December
Stock up and staff up
If you’re in the retail space this is a must. The crush of holiday shopping will be upon you before you know it. The last thing you want is to be under staffed or understocked. Same goes for online retailsers. Many manufactures and wholesalers offer holoiday specials weeks and momnths before the shopping begins. Take advantage of their deals and stock up on merchandise.
Even if you’re a solopreneur you need to lean on your resources for help this holiday season. The best way to delegate business and marketing todos, is to know exactly what those todos are. Start by making a list month by month. Be as detailed as you can about each item. Ask yourself honestly if each item is something you need to control personall. As long as the item has a clear path forward, send it off to someone else.
Freshen up your website
Since you will be lighting up social media with fresh marketing material, it makes sense to freshen up your website while you’re at it. Nothing says, “closed for business” like an outdated website. Focus on these five improvement areas:
- Update the copyright date in the footer 2011 was a long time ago!
- Add a new blog post
- Add or change the call to action on the home page
- Update the about page if necessary
- Check all your pages and links for errors
Plan a marketing campaign
The obvious choice is a holiday themed campaign promoting your products or services. People are very attracted to discounts and special promotions. Here are a few examples.
- Offer free consultaiton
- Bundle several of your more popular services to create savings
- Create coupon codes for your online store
- Ask for referrals and create referral bonuses
The marketing around your holiday campaign should be three-fold. First, create a blog or add a new page to your website with details about the promotion. Create some holiday imagery or graphics that compliment your brand. Canva is a great tool.
Once you have the messaging on point, plan on promoting it on social media and through email marketing. Sketch out a series of posts with highlights of the promotion. Don’t be afraid to repeat yourself on socail. It’s a crowded place and your fans might miss it.
Send out an email campaign to your audience. If you got a head start on all of this, plan on sending one campaign each month.
The most important part of all of this is to create a schdule and stick with it.
Put things on autopilot
Automating some of your marketing and business tasks will help free up time to focus on activities that cannot be automated. Email autoresponders are a great way to handle incoming contact forms and can buy you some time to respond. Redirtecting direct emails with filters can help delegate tasks.
Social media apps like Buffer can help you automate posts. For me, Buffer is essential to keeping my schedule full of social media posts for all of my profiles.
Invoicing and reporting is another where automation can save you time. Here at Kitzmiller Media, many of our billing tasks are automated. Even payment reminders go out automatically.
Some flavor of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is going to be immensely benificial when it comes to automation. We use Hubspot at Kitzmiller Media and it’s a critical component of our day to day opperations. We can keep close tabs on prospects and customers and even track deals and communication threads.
Bonus tip: Don’t stop in December
There is no reason why you can’t keep things going when the holidays are over. The lessons learned over the holidays can help build out an entire year’s worth of activity. Once you become familiar with these holiday business stategies, implementing them throughout the year will become much easier. Naturally, we are here if you have any questions. As always, thanks for reading!
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