It’s Time to Prepare for the 2022 Holiday Season
September 30th 2022
Now that Labor Day has come and gone in the U.S., you know what that means—holiday season is just around the corner.
Yes, even as we’re enjoying fairly warm temps across the northern hemisphere, smart business owners are beginning to plan for Q4.
Although retailers are best-known for generating a large portion of their annual sales during the last few weeks of the year, the holidays can also be an opportunity for other types of businesses. Restaurants are often busier due to holiday parties, service-based businesses involved in holiday decorating and interior design get booked quickly, and tutors frequently find their schedules filled with students needing last-minute assistance prepping for finals and finishing papers, as a few examples.
There is a sense of urgency and excitement around the holidays that is unique to that season. So, take advantage of the buying frenzy by getting your ducks in a row early, to reduce any stress you may typically feel. Here are five steps to take now to feel less anxious and more in control:
Follow up with prospects to get any new business in the door before year-end
Many corporations suddenly discover toward the end of the year that they have money left in their budget that needs to be spent now, before it gets eliminated. You can help your clients by checking in to see if they might want to commit to the work you had discussed this year, rather than after the holidays. That way you can better plan your workload and they can pay with 2022 funds. Not only can this push clients to commit to hiring your company, but it can also help generate some new cash flow. All it takes is an email, phone call, or text to see where things stand regarding their previously stated need for your products or services.
Refresh your company website
As we head into the holidays, give prospects another reason to come back to your website, by adding new information and photography. You don’t have to give your website a complete overhaul, but make enough changes that visitors will notice something is different and stop to check it out. That will require updating your online images and product shots, as well as online copy. This is true whether your company sells products or services. With products, you can add new offerings and spotlight them in a blog post, for example. And with services, consider creating a new limited-edition bundle of offerings to address specific needs clients may have. The trick is to make some tweaks to your site now, before you get too busy in November and December.
Get your inventory organized
Speaking of spotlighting your products on your company website, if you’re a product-based business, now is the time to confirm all of your holiday season pre-purchases and get any last-minute orders in based on recent trend predictions. Make sure you have the products your customers will be looking for, whether you run a coffee shop, online reselling boutique, or ski equipment store. Given ongoing supply chain woes, checking on the status of your incoming inventory is essential.
Schedule a special event
When your customers are in a buying mood, give them a reason to connect with you through an invitation to an event. If yours is an accounting, consulting, or law firm, for example, that might mean scheduling a holiday open house at your office, where you give them a small token of appreciation for their business when they stop by. If you run a gift shop or book store, how about inviting an artist in for a demonstration, or an author in for a presentation. If yours is an outdoor business, schedule an event that is part opportunity to test out your products and part demonstration to get them excited about local recreation. You can also hold online events, such as educational summits or live sales events. Start thinking about what your best customers would most enjoy and then get something on the schedule.
Invest in some marketing and promotion
In addition to or in conjunction with a special holiday event, consider designing a special limited-time sales offer. It could be as simple as a discount, such as 25% off during a specific week or after buying a certain dollar amount from you, or as complicated as completing a series of tasks on your website to qualify for a giveaway. Other market tactics to consider include issuing press releases, pursuing guest blogging opportunities at complementary businesses, exploring being a podcast guest on relevant podcasts, or participating in holiday events in your area, just to name a few.
Even if the holidays aren’t typically busier for your business, you can still invest some time in making it more memorable for your customers, so that you end 2022 with a bang and tee up a great 2023.