December is a manic time of the year for on and offline retail and something that will sneak up on you before you know. Having a game plan is super important both for your small business and personally, well those presents don’t buy and wrap themselves!
Keep on top of key dates :
- Black Friday : This year falls on 24th November 2017, literally weeks away. Do you have an offer in mind? My top tip with offers it to be specific. Instead of having an overall discount giving customers a huge range to choose from, place 2 or 3 items on offer. Maybe look at having a different offer each day from the 24th-27th November 2017. Also limited the available amount helping to sparking interest, FOMO (fear of missing out) and desire from potential customers. You can check out my other Black Friday eCommerce tips on the Sage UK blog.
- Cyber Monday : Is the Monday after Black Friday (27th November 2017). In 2016 consumers spent £1.9 billion online as retailers went bargain mad. Surprisingly Cyber Monday is UK phenomenon, whereby you can shop ’till you drop in the comfort of your own home, in your pj’s with a cuppa tea as all of the deals are online. Hence the name ‘cyber’.
- Postage Deadline : Ensure you keep up to date via the Royal Mail‘s site of their guaranteed postage dates and make your customers aware too. I usually close down Charlie Moo’s orders on the children’s last day of school. This means I can enjoy the two weeks off with the children instead of stressing about deliveries.
Shop local and think small :
Don’t get sucked in to trying to compete with large businesses and their massive offers. Use bloggers and social media to promote your brand and Christmas products. The German Wife shares some of her favourite handcrafted small business highlighting some of the unique products around.
Bloggers are a great form of PR and promotion, Christmas can be a crazy time of the year as everyone is trying to get their products in the press. Zoe from Sixth Sense PR post Seven steps to securing Christmas media coverage. Key points including ‘researching the publications you want to be featured in’ is important. But it’s an often-missed step in the PR process. Only by reviewing what that publication, website, TV or radio programme, podcast or blog regularly features will you know how your story or products/services could potentially fit in.
Tips for Party Planners and Direct Sales Businesses :
If you are in direct sales then Christmas is one of your key selling periods through the year. Take Facebook videos for example they are ever increasing in popularity and work really well for promoting a specific item or collection rather than a whole product range which can be a little overwhelming. Think about a few stocking filler gifts for say under £20, under £10, under £5 and target a specific group. ie “Stocking fillers under £10 for Children” or “Gifts for those hard to buy males for under £20”. These kind of promotions will attract customers wanting to buy. For further tips read 5 ways to increase your party sales this Christmas
Prepare things beforehand :
Erin from Making Mumpreneurs makes a great point of using the quite period before the December rush to prepare or pre-plan. “With my jewellery business each piece was presented in a box, with shredded paper, in a little bag with a polishing cloth and a business card with a referral offer. I would get these all made up and line them up on the shelf, so when I was busy I would have them all ready to use.” Little details like this help keep the season smooth sailing, reduce stress and anxiety.
Enjoy it! :
But don’t forget to take time to enjoy the festive period it can’t all be about your small business. Cathy Richardson has some excellent tips on how to stay sane and sparkling over Christmas. Because quite frankly after the long, hard, slog of the festive run up you deserve to sit down with a tipple of your choice and enjoy your family and the fruit of your labour.
If you have any top tips regarding preparing your small business for Christmas please do share them in the comments below. Next month’s theme looks at top tips for Selling at Events. For inclusion please do tweet your blog links to @CharlieMoos.