When Christmas is Near, Do Not Fear
As an adult consumer, I hate to see anything to do with Christmas in the shops before November.
As a business owner, however, I like to be planning for it long before.
So, for this article I am going to look at the different elements that you should be thinking about to make the most of the festive season.
If you run a retail-type business, or any business that has a shop-front and deals with domestic clients, then you should be very busy planning your Christmas promotions and how you are going to advertise them. Whether it’s a big sign in your window or a leaflet drop, you need to be thinking ‘demand generation’. It doesn’t matter if you’re a shop, restaurant or takeaway, people spend a lot of money at Christmas and if you’re not telling them you exist, your business is going to get overlooked. Non retail-based businesses, or those without a shop-front, need to work even harder because they don’t have the natural footfall.
Whatever promotion you run, make sure you advertise a special Christmas offer to make the reader pay attention. That doesn’t mean XX% off – that’s just boring and won’t get people excited.
A BIG Thank You!
The other part you need to think about is thanking customers for the business they gave you over the year. If you think you can’t afford gifts then remember this – return business is the cheapest business you’ll get! If you are a retailer you can thank your customers by inviting them to come and wish you a happy Christmas. In return you can ensure you get their business next year by giving them a voucher for a special offer or discount that takes effect in the New Year. At the same time you can give them a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie and get to know them a little. But don’t just go out and buy 50 Gallons of Mulled wine and a ton of mince pies without checking what your neighbouring businesses are doing. You want to ensure that you are doing something unique after all.
For non-retail businesses, you will have a list of customers that have done business with you. It is very important that you get your Christmas goodies list together and figure out who is going to get what. You should have 3 levels of gifts to cater for the different levels of customers. The small gift may only cost you one or two Euros, while the high-end gift may cost you anywhere from 50 to 100 Euros. But you don’t have to go overboard on this. My wife and I use an ironing service occasionally and last Christmas, sitting on top of some returned ironing, we found a box of hand-made mince pies. They were truly delicious and although they wouldn’t have been expensive, the thought was enough to make us use their services all year. Cost to them – probably about 2 to 3 Euros, which would have made them a hundred times that this year.
If you’re organised enough, there are companies that offer specially customised corporate gifts. Everything from golf balls to electronic gifts can be customised with you logo, which could make a very unique and memorable gift.
Also, don’t be afraid to provide a voucher for future business. Remember, you want to make sure they give you their business next year.
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