Christmas is right around the corner, and the festive season tends to be an extremely busy time, both personally and professionally, for just about everyone — including small business owners. So, let’s be honest, just how ready and organised are you?
COVID-19-related issues could present certain challenges for small businesses but even as we navigate these challenging times, people will still be celebrating and exchanging gifts — and getting your Christmas marketing ideas and strategy in place will help you get the most out of this period of increased consumer spending.
Not sure where to start? Not to worry…we’ve created a month-by-month Christmas checklist, full of festive marketing tips to make meaningful connections with customers and drive sales:
Devise a detailed Christmas plan. Doing a little prep and planning ahead of time will ensure that you’re ready for Christmas — and allow you to feel more festive (instead of frenzied) when the season hits. Create a Christmas budget. You might be tempted to spend more on your business during the festive season, but you don’t want to spend more than you can afford. Make a budget, keep it realistic and stick to it. Get inspired. Do a little research and see what other businesses do during Christmas to promote their businesses. Spend some time perusing their social media (including Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram) to see if there’s anything that might also connect with your customers. Do some market research. What are your customers looking for this festive season? How will you meet those demands? Now is the time to do your research — so you’re prepared to deliver once the festive season is in full swing. Prepare your inventory. It may seem like you have a lot of time between now and the peak of the festive season, but the truth is, the Christmas rush will be upon you sooner than you think. Get your peak-season inventory ordered or organised. Order your advertising materials. Now is the time to get marketing materials for any sales or festive deals you’re planning for the upcoming season. Whether you’re in the market for banners, postcards, flyers, posters or foam boards to spread the festive cheer, start stockpiling the supplies you need now to see you through the rest of the season. Get what you need for Christmas packaging. The festive season is all about presents — and how those presents are presented can play a major role in how they’re received. Decide how you want to package orders and wrap in-store purchases — and how you’re going to infuse your packaging with a solid dose of Christmas cheer. (For example, you might consider including a Christmas-themed single sticker with every order or wrapping your box with customised tape. Plan your Black Friday or Cyber Monday sales. Consumers LOVE sales around this time of year — but if you want your sales to be effective, you need a clear plan. What sales are you running? When does each sale launch? How will you advertise your major sales of the season? Get your plan in place and start drafting promotional emails now; that way, you’ll be ready to hit ‘send’ when the time comes.
If you rolling out any special protocols to keep your customers safe during peak Christmas shopping times, let them know ahead of time with an e-newsletter, postcard or social media post.
Decorate your shopfront. If you have a brick-and-mortar shop, it’s time to deck the halls…or, in this case, deck your shopfront. Outside, decorate with festive window art, banners and decals. Inside, get shoppers in the Christmas spirit by playing your favourite seasonal tunes. Deck out your website. Make sure you decorate your digital shopfront as well — whether that’s creating a curated gift shop page, adding a mistletoe-inspired banner to your homepage or changing your colour scheme to incorporate more festive hues. Order your Christmas cards early. Christmas cards are a great way to connect with your customers, employees and vendors. Make sure to order them ahead of time and order more than you need (chances are, there will be more people that warrant a Christmas card than you think!). And if you order too many Christmas cards? Not to worry! Just tuck them into postal orders or shopping bags for a festive finish. Launch your Black Friday sale. Make sure your messaging is clear and your customers know exactly what sales and deals to expect. Participate in Small Business Saturday. This year, Small Business Saturday is on 27 November. If you want to capitalise on shoppers that are eager to spend their money on small businesses, consider rolling out a promotion that runs throughout this weekend. Launch your Cyber Monday sale. Take advantage of this digital shopping day (which more and more retailers are also doing in-store deals for now that more people are shopping online anyway) and promote exclusive deals (like early shopping access!) for email subscribers and social media followers. Hang posters and banners. The sales don’t end after Black Friday and Cyber Monday — so use posters and banners to announce upcoming sales, attract potential customers and get your existing customers excited for the festive deals to come.
Prepare to hit the ground running in January. You want to start 2022 on the right foot — and that means taking the steps necessary to set yourself up for success in the new year. Whether it’s stocking up on inventory or creating a calendar with key dates (like staff holidays and seasonal deals), getting your ducks in a row now will help ensure that you’re ready to roll when the festive season is over and 2022 is officially upon us. Consider a refresh. The new year offers new opportunities — and if you’ve been thinking about overhauling your branding (whether that’s redesigning your logo or updating your website), now is a great time to do it.
Need help giving your brand a festive makeover? With 99designs by Vistaprint, you get access to designers (like okdesignstudio) that can help with all your design and branding needs.
The festive season offers great opportunities to connect with your customers and drive sales — so what are you waiting for?
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