Holiday Help for Small Business Owners
By Shannon M. Medisky
With widespread unemployment and a still-struggling economy, many have looked to self-employment to help supplement their incomes. Whether it’s a full-time commitment or a part-time activity to bring in just a bit more cash, there are a variety of ways small business owners can harness opportunities throughout the holidays. If you’re an entrepreneur, below are just a few ways you can turn your thoughts to how the holidays can help you jingle all the way to the bank.
Use the holidays as a way to re-establish yourself with past clients. Send holiday cards with a brief thank you note for their business and consider tucking in a coupon for a discount as an invitation for their future business. Want to avoid the cost of cards and postage entirely? Select an e-card and email the sentiments instead. Check out 123greetings.com or Ecarduniverse.com to get started. Both sites feature a special section just for business use.
Remind others of all they have to do, so they’ll come to you. The holidays are an exceptionally busy time for everyone. Take advantage of this and find ways to market your services that highlight their value. After all, time is money. Depending upon the nature of your business, consider offering additional services as well. Delivery, gift wrap and assembly services are particularly time-consuming and, as a result, valuable during the holidays. Broaden your net of services, and you’ll reap more business.
Offer year-end discounts and seasonal savings. Consumers are already digging deep into their pockets to afford gifts and other holiday expenses. Ensure your business gets a bit of the handout by advertising special savings opportunities. Even a nominal discount or “new customer” offer can lure more business your way.
Collaborate with other business owners. ‘Tis the season and the more the merrier, so take advantage of collaborating with other business owners. Exchange advertising opportunities with one another by leaving brochures or posting fliers in their place of business in exchange for the same. Agree to recommend their services to clients if they’ll do the same for you. Provide them with coupons to hand out to their customers and offer to do the same for them.
With a bit of creativity, planning and networking, the holidays can be a real gift to your business – and your bottom line.
Take a break and regroup and re-establish business goals. The holidays are traditionally a great time for reflection. Take the time to do so when it comes to your business as well. What’s working? What isn’t? Is it time to go in another direction? The end of the year is an ideal time to start planning for and making changes to help make next year even more successful. You’ll maximize your efforts and income potential if you thoroughly explore all of your options prior to acting on any of them. Don’t forget, too, to network with others. Word of mouth can spread faster than wildfire and is cheaper and often far more effective than any paid advertising. You’ll likely gain some valuable business advice, too, from those who have been there.
Photo credit: gia.Australia
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