7 Holiday Tips for Small-Business Owners
Tap into Twitter
By now, most small businesses hopefully know that they can use social networks such as Facebook and Twitter to promote their brands and build relationships with customers. But that's not all these sites can be used for.
Bridget Weston, founder of Roadmap Marketing and a blogger for SCORE, a small business training program, says businesses can use sites such as Twitter and Google to find out what products consumers are looking for and reach out to them directly.
"You can set up Twitter search alerts and Google search alerts to notify you when someone is searching for a particular gift," Weston said. "Then you can respond to that person with your products and services."
Hold special events
One great way to show customers some appreciation and attract new customers as well is to hold special events at your store.
"Hold special events that highlight one of your products," says Butler, who used to run several retail stores. "I used to do cooking demonstrations to attract customers."
Promote services as products
For small businesses focusing more on selling services than retail items, the best way to get more customers during the holiday season is to bill your services as giftable items.
"Whether you sell haircuts or legal consulting, make sure you let people know that they can give those services as a holiday gift," said Abrams, the small-business expert. After all, any business can sell gift certificates for their services.
Capture email contacts
Finally, make sure you try to get the email address of any customer who comes into your store.
"One of the most important things to do is find a way to capture email addresses so you can circle back to new customers," Weston says. "Then follow up by emailing them promotions, but mostly by offering them tips, recipes and other items that they might actually find useful."
This way, the relationship with that customer will continue long after the holiday season is over, and they can be brought back with future deals and promotions.
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