The holiday season can be a bit of a conundrum for small businesses. While many consumer-facing businesses often earn 50% of their annual revenue during Q4, the holiday season is also when many clients, businesses and employees take significant time off. This creates major hurdles for any service-based business leader hoping to make a huge holiday splash. In fact, many service-based small businesses brace themselves for a small downturn between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
So how can you protect your business from a holiday lull — or, worse yet, an all-out slowdown? Here are five small business tips that can help keep your business on track.
1 - Set big holly, jolly goals
The place where this should manifest first is your marketing plan for Q4. There is a wealth of marketing tips for small businesses from Keap and other sources (many focused on the holiday season). Make use of them as you plan your approach to Q4, and you’ll be putting your company and staff in a position to succeed.
Not only is this a festive time — it’s a crucial one for your business. With your brand-spanking-new marketing plan in hand, think through ways you can rally your employees, including incentives and rewards for hitting important milestones with your client relationships
2 - Promo, promo, promo
While you consider ways to incentivize employees, you’ll also want to give your prospects and clients a reason to choose you over other companies during the noisy holiday season. Your audience is expecting deals (and often waiting for them), especially around Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
The question is: Have you tried running promotions in the past? Whether your business is new to the promo game or needs help dialing in your approach, a great resource is Keap’s Top 5 Holiday Promotions You Can Automate Today.
3 - Double down on Small Business Saturday
Since 2010, Small Business Saturday has been growing in its popularity and influence. The actual holiday always falls on the Saturday right after Thanksgiving, though many businesses celebrate it for an entire week, encouraging patronage of small businesses near you and across the country.
Most people like the idea of supporting small business, but this is the day where they REALLY want to make sure their dollars are moving in your direction. In 2021, more than 51 million shoppers participated in Small Business Saturday, so it’s wise for your holiday planning to place heavy emphasis on it.
4 - Reconnect with current and former clients
The holidays are always a time to reflect and be thankful for what you have. This includes the wonderful people who have chosen to do business with you.
Not only is it a nice gesture to send a thank you note or some sort of follow-up holiday message to clients, but it also reminds them that you are ready to serve them again. If you need some help crafting your message, we recommend downloading Keap’s free email templates. (Specific templates for follow-up or saying thank you are both available.)
5 - Give back with the help of your clients
Giving to a worthy cause is something that often goes hand in hand with the holidays. While it’s the right thing to do, let’s also be honest: It makes sense for your yearly tax bill. (Trust us, your accountant will thank you for it.)
As a small business, you can surely give to a worthy cause and share that message with your prospects and existing client base. However, we encourage you to take that a step further and bring them into the process. You can create a promotion where a portion of your sales for a certain time or product goes to a cause you want to support. Just make sure you name the nonprofit benefiting from your promotion, as this is a detail your clients will expect.
Automation makes all your holiday plans merrier
No matter what tips you implement to avoid a holiday lull in your business, your plans can only get stronger with the power of sales and marketing automation behind them. Using a platform like Keap, you can plan for a big holiday season, save time on your follow-up holiday messages, and create campaigns that highlight your holiday promotions.
Why not get a jump start on the coming year right now? Try Keap absolutely free for 14 days and give your business the gift that keeps it growing. Happy holidays!