Small Business Tips to Survive the Holiday Season Lindsey Stroud With the holidays right around the corner, you may be wondering if the season will bring your Small Business holiday joy or horror. To help prepare your Small Business prepare for the busier times ahead, I’ve compiled some tips to help you survive the holidays. Send a Holiday Email vs. Handwritten Card – I love handwritten cards, and I do think they have a time and a place for a Small Business. However, the holidays may not be one of them. They can end up taking valuable time you may not have to spare (besides the fact that it can also cost a fortune!) Why not take a load off of your Small Business this holiday and put together a holiday email? You can save money, time, and have your communication received instantly. You can still attach valuable coupons or discounts to reward your customers with holiday cheer! Start Early! – According to a statistic just released by National Retail Federation, 53.8% of shoppers have already started their holiday shopping. If your Small Business plans to promote its products or services this holiday, now is the time to start promoting it. Don’t lose valuable sales to your competitor who started promoting their holiday offers earlier than you. Hire Helping Hands – One of the most important things your Small Business can do during the busy holiday season is provide excellent customer service. The customer experience is directly related to whether or not a customer is likely to do repeat business with you. Make sure you have the helping hands you need to accommodate a potential increase in business. Offer Exclusive Deals to Past Customers – The holidays are a great time to drive repeat business. According to Visa, email marketing is the #1 most effective way to encourage online customers to return! Offer coupons and discounts exclusively for past customers. Let those who have done business with you in the past know how important they are to you, and make it worth their while to continue doing business with you. Don’t Forget Small Business Saturday – While big box retailers are prepping their marketing for Black Friday, don’t forget that Small Business Saturday is your time to shine! Now is the time to start planning a marketing strategy to help drive sales during Small Business Saturday. Make sure your social media pages and website are up to date. Also, don’t forget that there are great (FREE) resources available for your use – check out www.smallbusinesssaturday.com to start your preparation! My last tip for the holiday season is to relax and enjoy the time of year. It’s a great time to celebrate people in your life, and enjoy their company. Planning ahead will ensure you have time to spend creating stress free memories for your Small Business.