Small town retailers are getting ready for the 2010 holiday season, and we are all wondering, how will it go?
I can’t answer that, but I can tell you a few things you can do right now to set yourself up for the best holiday season possible.
First, dress up your store for Thanksgiving. Make a human connection with real people who miss seeing Thanksgiving get any attention. Focus on family, connection, togetherness. Our liquor store always has a “wine for Thanksgiving dinner” display.
Second, make a plan to reach out to your customers during the holidays. If you use traditional advertising or nontraditional online tools, make a plan, have a theme, and work extra hard to connect with people. Too many of us lurch through the season with no plan, saying yes to random offers to buy ads or just reusing old ideas and old ads. Spend the time to make this year different and better. Call up a retail-minded friend and brainstorm!
Third, set holiday hours for your customers’ convenience. The decisions you make about hours play a huge role in your total sales. If you are closed during weekends, you are missing out on big opportunities. You may need to get tough with yourself and your helpers and expand hours this season.
For those up against the big boxes and the online competitors, review these four ways to beat bigger competitors. They are especially relevant in the holidays.
Last year, John Tozzi with BusinessWeek asked for my ideas for holiday promotions. He shared some of my best ideas about shop local and authenticity as a key holiday promotion.
Now I’m asking you. What are your ideas to make this a terrific sales year?
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.