Thursday, December 13, 2007

Small Business Holiday Survival Guide

Conducting business during the holiday season can be challenging, especially if you depend on getting a certain amount of new business every month. With the exception of retail, most business slows down during this time of year. Most people are caught up in shopping, wrapping, and hosting or attending holiday parties.

How can you make the most of this “downtime” to ensure that you’re ready to hit the ground running after the New Year’s confetti has settled?

First of all, don’t abandon the quest for new business entirely. Although it may be more difficult to win new clients now, you’ll certainly fail if you don’t try at all. Stick to your normal methods of prospecting – cold calling, networking, online marketing, etc.

Make the “warm and fuzzy” mood of the season work for your business. We all recognize the tried and true ritual of sending annual holiday cards to existing clients to thank them for their business, but you may want to take the concept a step further.

Think of how you can tie your product or service into the holiday season, even if it seems like a stretch at first. For example, an auto shop could run a holiday tune-up special, with the tagline “Will Your Car Make it Over the River and Through the Woods?” OK, don’t be too hard on me! I came up with that on the spur of the moment.

Instead of sending cards, why not shower your clients with a more enduring gift? Be creative! Did you know that you can have a bobblehead made of yourself and branded with your company logo? If that idea seems a little far fetched, just remember that your goal in giving client gifts are to keep your name in front of the client, show appreciation for their business, and remind them of the need for your product or service.

Incorporate a subtle festivity into your daily marketing efforts. My business partner created a holiday version of our logo to use on seasonal coupons, in emails, etc. No matter how small, people appreciate the acknowledgement of this special time of year.

Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for Success in the New Year!


No comments: