By Leslie Youngblood
Yep I'm talking holidays!
Even though it's early November, it's definitely not too early. Well, maybe it is too early for 24/7 holiday songs, but when it comes to your business, time is UP when it comes to getting ahead of holiday planning.
So today I’m sharing with you, how to prep your business for the holidays in five steps.
Step 1. Shine A Light On Upcoming Holiday Specials
Literally the day after Halloween on November 1, I received a Christmas catalog in my mailbox from a local furniture company here in Metro Detroit. Even though I felt a little, “Too soon!” I checked it out and saw some cute holiday decor pieces. These are now things I might actually buy not because they’re the best and cheapest, but because they got to me FIRST.
So even if you think pre-Thanksgiving is too early to start your Christmas promos, it’s not! Start marketing your sales or discounts on your social channels and in your email communications now.
There’s also still time to make gorgeous postcards and flyers when you use MOO, someone who we work with and love at Excelerate America.
Step 2. “Yea!” All Vacays, Availability, and Hours
That means, make sure you have your off days and your staff vacation days all scheduled right now.
And make sure you post an update about your store hours across your social channels and your Google listing as well. Customers may think you’re going to be open on a certain day and stop by, and be bummed that you’re closed. Or, they may think you’re closed and you’re really open.
And speaking of customers...
Step 3. De-Frost Any Customer Service
Everyone knows that everyone gets frantic and edgy during the holidays. Don’t we all have a story about somewhere where someone was rude to us or a salesperson couldn’t help? That makes it more important than ever to go above and beyond for customers.
Schedule a time to sit down and have a chat with everyone on your team about this. Make sure they can answer questions that may come their way, and that they’re aware of the high customer service standard you want to set.
The holidays are also a nice time to reward your regulars with a little something extra, whether it’s a surprise discount or complimentary gift wrapping.
Mostly though, it’s the little things, like patience and a friendly smile, that will make the difference with someone.
4. Sharpen Up Your Season’s Greetings
It’s a really nice and thoughtful gesture to send out some sort of messaging to your clients or even customers during the holidays.
Now of course a beautiful card or even email is nice, but maybe try adding something a little more fun and festive like a simple gift with purchase or customized video message.
If you visit Fiverr, another one of our favorites at Excelerate America, you can find a professional to make a unique video for you. Perhaps you'd love to have Santa send your personal greetings or a compilation of business photos or video highlights of your past year.
People will notice and appreciate it when you do something that’s out of the regular holiday greeting box.
5. Add A Dash Of Decor
A wreath on your office door, a snowman on your desk, even if you work from home, adding a little holiday shine to your space will get you in the spirit every time you sit down to work.
If you have a storefront, do a few decorations. If you’re only online, add a new holiday-themed cover photo or profile photo to your social channels.
It's not too early! And if someone comments that it is, you’ll have a great ice breaker with a potential new customer.
Leslie Youngblood is the Creative Director for Excelerate America, the ultimate resource for entrepreneurs. Tell Leslie about what you've been doing to prep for the 2018 holiday season by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.