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9 Ways to Grow your Business during the Holidays

While many companies are still sticking to their schedules and closing for the holidays, some have decided to keep their doors open throughout the festive season to help counter the lost time during the 2020 COVID lockdown. Either way, it is important to stay productive and ensure your business starts off 2021 with a bang. Here are 9 tips for small business owners on how to prepare and stay profitable during the holidays:

1. Create special offers for the festive season.

Everyone loves a discount! Promote sales by creating combo deals, discounts on bulk orders, limited offers, free deliveries, free gifts with purchases, or maybe even a holiday giveaway that customers can enter using their receipts. Remember to design your special offer with a festive feel and stay in line with the holidays, tis the season after all. 

2. Plan your 2021 business ventures and send out a teaser.

Get a head start on your 2021 business objectives. What are some reachable goals that you want your business to achieve in the first quarter of 2021? What actions and campaigns will help you reach these goals? Most importantly, how will you remind your customers of your brand after they have been in ‘relax mode’ all December? Planning your 2021 business endeavours now will end up saving you time in the new year and help you circumvent a downward slump in visitors as customers become distracted while getting back into gear during January. Once you have a list of your 2021 campaigns, share a teaser in your newsletter or on your social media page, give them a hint of what they can look forward to whether it be a special offer, a new line of products, or even just revamping the website. Teasers are a great way to promote intrigue about your brand.

3. Send out Thank You cards.

Remind your customers and clients how special they are to you, your team, and your brand. Create a holiday card with photo of the staff in a festive setting and add a beautiful “thank you” note. While mailing physical cards through the post conveys a lot more care, you can opt for emailing your holiday / Thank You cards to save time and money. A little appreciation goes a long way in building solid business and customer relationships.

4. Let your customers and suppliers know when you are closing and reopening.

Communication is vital to keep customers happy. If you are closing shop for the festive season, be sure to let your customers and visitors know when you will be closing and when you will be opening again, preferably well in advance. On the flip side, if you will be open during the holidays, that is also worth advertising. There are many ways to communicate downtime to your customer: 

  • send out a newsletter to your loyal database, 
  • upload a cover image on your Facebook page, 
  • place a banner or pop-up on your website, 
  • add a poster to your shop or office window or door, 
  • instruct your telephone answering service to inform callers. 

Bonus point for doing them all. Customers do not like vagueness, nor do suppliers. Always opt for clearly advertised open and closing times – and stick to them!

5. Donate to a charity or host a fundraiser.

If business is slow this time of the year, do charity work on behalf of your brand for good publicity. Donating funds is always good but putting gift boxes together or creating a fabulous fundraising event is even better. Fundraisers serve as great networking opportunities; you will often meet good business connections at well-planned events. Another great publicity tip is to combine your Thank You cards with a gift of a donation to a local charity in the recipient’s name.

6. Set up your Telephone Answering and Order Taking Services.

If you are closing for the holidays and dread missing out on telephonic orders while you are resting up for 2021, subscribe to a telephone answering service, like Real Receptionist. We will answer every call, ensuring you start off your 2021 with a string of orders ready to be completed. Alternatively, if December and January are your busiest months and you need help tending to all your incoming business calls, one of our virtual receptionists is just what you need.

7. Spoil your staff and VIP clients.

Sending a Thank You card to loyal customers and suppliers is a subtle way to show your gratitude for them supporting your business. Try to go the extra mile for your staff and VIP suppliers and clients that really made an impact to your business this year. While most companies simply opt for a bonus paycheck, add a personal touch with a year-end function or personalised gift baskets filled with useful, branded goodies. Again, appreciation goes a long way in building solid business and customer relationships.

8. Clean out the office!

If you are closing shop for the holidays, or December-January are quiet months, then now’s the time to properly clean-out and vamp up the workplace. Digitally archive files to empty those filing cabinets, shift around furniture to compliment your workflow, properly set up your COVID-friendly dividers/screens and sanitiser dispensers (as well as any other parameters relevant to your business), fix any broken equipment, get any disruptive installations out of the way, and stock up the office supplies cupboard.

9. Rest and recharge.

Most importantly, make some time to simply kick your heels up and escape from the everyday hustle of running a business. Taking a break from work can be tricky, especially if you work from a home office. Try to avoid your work area for a week or two; go visit family and friends, take a trip to the beach and let your mind enjoy switching off, sleep in, spend time with the kids, do some gardening, or just binge watch all your favourite shows. Your business will not grow much if you burn out, so do not be afraid to schedule in a few days of downtime, just make sure your customers and suppliers are well informed of closing and opening dates.

If you are planning to close your business for the holidays and need someone to cover incoming calls and telephonic orders without impacting your break, look at our Real Receptionist subscriptions and How We Work. Our team is ready to answer any questions, just give us a call.

Feature image by Tim Mossholder


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