The holiday season is the make-or-break time of year for small businesses to reach their business goals – and the time for small business owners to stress out. This time of year there is an endless list of sales and marketing opportunities for small business owners. No one can do it all, and you shouldn’t try to. The key to a successful holiday marketing campaign is planning and organization.
Even though the holidays are right upon us, there are things you can still do right now to help manage your holiday season. Whether you own a local store, an online business or provide professional business services, you can make this a very merry and successful holiday for you and your customers.
5 Holiday Marketing Tips for Small Business Owners
1. Write It Down
No matter how organized you are the rest of the year, the holidays are a time when it’s easy to be overwhelmed and forget to do very important and basic tasks. Staffing, customer greeting cards, decorations, social media graphics, email promotions – the list is never-ending. Whether you use an agenda calendar, a checklist or an app on your phone, write it down:
- Start each day with a review of everything that needs to be done today, tomorrow and this week.
- Review deadlines and details so nothing slips by you.
- Put together a prioritized list of who will do what and when.
- Finish each day by reviewing what did get done – and reschedule anything not finished for completion on another day.
We like these holiday checklists for small business owners from PayPal that will help you stay organized and never again overlook an important task.
No one person can do it all, and you shouldn’t even try. Even if you are a 1 person business, the busy holidays are the perfect time to ask for help. Here are some ways you can get seasonal holiday help to step in and takeover tasks you normally do and free you up to do the work only you can do:
- Outsource some projects to a professional who specializes in that service such as your holiday marketing campaign or updating your website.
- Hire a seasonal worker to help out at your business, including answering the phone, decorating your store, setting up product displays and restocking inventory, running errands or greeting customers.
- Hire help at home so you can focus on your business – a cleaning service, a caterer for your annual party, a laundry service, even someone to walk your dog!
- Virtual assistants can help out with many of your tasks, and often at a reasonable price. Based on your instructions and requirements, they can help out with many of your work and home projects. Sites such as Upwork, Fivver and TaskRabbit let you hire everything from a lawyer to a bookkeeper to a social media manager to customer support.
3. Build In Down Time
It can be easier to say than do, but schedule some downtime for you and your employees during the holidays. You will be more effective and more creative if your mind and body have a chance to rest and re-energize. No one can deliver 110% for weeks on end – not even you! But if you don’t plan for it, it won’t happen:
- Schedule a mid-day or end of day massage so you feel your best and aren’t limited by sore muscles and tension.
- Get your nails done so you look your best to greet your customers.
- Go for a walk with your family to enjoy the holiday decorations.
4. Schedule Social Media Posts
Social media is a critical tool to help you promote your business during the holidays – but it is also a time sucker! Making time to open your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, then come up with catchy and enticing posts, images and hashtags is something that can easily get overlooked – and hurt your holiday sales.
There are social media scheduling tools that you can use to write your posts in advance, and schedule them to post when it’s most beneficial to your business – not when you find a few free minutes. You can still post on social media in real-time when the moment strikes – but scheduling tools make sure you never miss an important marketing post. Some of our favorite social media scheduling tools are:
Bonus: Many of these social media scheduling tools have free plans available for 1, 2 or 3 social media platforms!
5. Just Say No
Just because in the past you’ve always said ‘yes’ to requests that require your time or money during the holidays doesn’t mean you have to say ‘yes’ again this year. It is hard for small business owners to build a strong relationship with your community and say no to requests from potential customers. But if you can’t give it your all, then just say no. Instead, say yes to causes that are important to you this year, and if trade-off with a different cause next year. After all, there is only so much of you to go around!
Spread holiday cheer and enjoy some yourself by following our holiday tips for small business owners! And you can use this year’s holiday planning calendar and to-do lists to get a jump-start planning for the 2022 holidays!