With all the flood of tips for retailers to get ready for the holidays, what about other businesses? How can service-based businesses get ready for the holiday season? Next week, we’ll talk about other ways to be productive during the holidays, but this week, let’s focus on making more sales.
Make your services into a holiday gift.
Now, this is undoubtedly easier for some obviously giftable services like massage. But I bet we can find a way to make any service into something gift-worthy. People today are very happy to spend some money to save some time, so it makes sense for gifts, too. It’s just a matter of packaging.
The way you do it is to create something tangible, something the giver can wrap up with a bow and proudly hand to someone they care about. Here are some ideas to draw from.
1. Think of your service as a useful and fun product.
For an accountant, how about a “New Year, New Start Finances” package to help people get back on track after the holidays. Hey, we could use the “New Year, New Start” and “Get back on track after the holidays” model for health and fitness related services, too! A lawn care service could come up with a “Honey-Do Holiday” package for winter clean up, limb trimming, driveway cleanup, what ever makes sense in your area. Home cleaning or other home services could offer a “Recover from the holidays” package.
The best bet is to sit down and brainstorm with a friend to come up with some gift-worthy packages of your own. The key is to get very, very specific about the service offered and how it fits into people’s lives.
Then it’s time to dress them up and make them fun to give.
2. Make real gift baskets.
Put your service together with some of the tools of the trade or accessories to make it more fun. The lawn care service could package a living potted plant that is well-suited to go outside later in the year. The accountant could put a set of budgeting envelopes or an RFID-blocking wallet together.
Then include your extra-special gift certificate.
3. Make your gift certificate extra-special.
Give it a big headline with the basics (amount, service, who from), then add some marketing text. Remember that the gift recipient didn’t pick this out. They probably don’t know anything about your service. Explain how they’ll benefit. Sell it. Make it wonderful to receive.
If you’re selling gift certificates to remote customers, create special certificates customers can print out on their own. Get with a designer and make something really special. Or use the myriad of templates and graphic services available. Make sure it will fit into a standard envelope for gifting!
Now that you’ve created some products of your own to retail this holiday season, it’s up to you to to start marketing them. Work these into your marketing plan for the holidays. Partner up with retailers to place your gift baskets or gift certificates into their displays. Share them with your existing customers via email and social media.
Getting ready for the holidays series:
- 5 Retail Holiday Tips for 2014
- How service businesses can get ready for the holidays
- 5 ways to get your business ready for the holidays, especially if you’re not a retail store
- These small town neighbors bought vacant buildings, brought them up to code. Here’s what happened next - March 12, 2018
- The giant checklist of social media marketing basics for small town business - March 5, 2018
- Tourism idea: host a rural retreat after a big conference in the big city - February 26, 2018
- Rural business idea: Rent chicks for Easter - February 19, 2018
- What hours should a retail store be open in a small town? - February 12, 2018
- Want more young families to shop downtown? Consider family parking - February 5, 2018
- How independent retailers can trick Alexa, Siri, and Google Home to capture orders from local customers - January 29, 2018
- Who are the next 5 people who will hire you? - January 22, 2018
- 2017 was the retail apocalypse. What does the future of retail hold for small town stores? - January 15, 2018
- New after-conference rule: the 2-to-1 rule - January 8, 2018