5 ways small businesses can make the holidays a success

5 ways small businesses can make the holidays a success

So, what can small business owners do now to turn this optimism into a successful holiday season? Here are some tips:

• Strengthen your marketing efforts. According to the survey, 52 percent of respondents attribute their anticipated success to better marketing. Better marketing means knowing where your customers are and how to reach them in meaningful ways. So before you buy a local TV spot or an ad in a newspaper, step back and think about where your customers already go for information.

• Expand your products and services. Half of survey respondents who anticipate a better holiday season plan to offer new products and services. This is a good strategy to follow. Remember, people frequent small businesses because they like the individualized attention, but they also stray to big retailers because of the larger selection. If you do your best to keep up with what larger stores are offering, then your individualized attention will give you an edge.

• Reward loyalty. Offering coupons to frequent customers can pay dividends. Thank your regulars by inviting them to private after-hours sales or offering friends and family discounts. In fact, this holiday season, 24 percent of survey respondents said they plan to utilize friends and family discounts as a marketing tactic. It’s a good move, especially for holiday shopping because the benefits can last well into the new year.

• Use social media wisely. According to the survey, 29 percent of small business owners will be using social media promotions this holiday season—and with good reason. Social sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are a valuable part of almost any marketing strategy, but it’s important to make sure you’re using the right channel for your business. Twitter is a great way to help reward loyal customers with deals and discounts, while Facebook is the better vehicle to help attract new customers, given the easy access to sharing visuals. Pinterest is suited for businesses with highly visual products and can help generate mass awareness.

• Invest in e-commerce. If you’re not already taking advantage of e-commerce, you should consider it. Survey respondents said they anticipate roughly 30 percent of holiday sales will be through e-commerce sales, with 32 percent of small businesses that sell online predicting an increase from last year. So, even if the cost of setting up an e-commerce site is a bit hefty, consider it a long-term investment that will pay off in the end. And if there isn’t time to set up a site this year, start planning now to have it ready for next year’s holiday season.

For the original article from AllBusiness Experts click here.