In any retail business, the last quarter of the year may beat the entire rest of the year for sales. That’s enough reason to to pay extra attention to getting ready to make the most of it. Here are five of my ideas on how to get more people through your doors in the holidays.
1. Make sure you have what your customers want. All the promotion in the world won’t drive customers to a business that doesn’t offer what people want. Spend time now talking to customers about what they want and then updating your selection.
2. Open your doors at more of the right times. Extend your hours to more evenings and weekends. They can’t get through the doors if the doors are closed.
These two won’t be easy, so I have some suggestions on extending your hours and updating your product selection.
3. Clean up your store, especially outside. If you want more people to come through the door, don’t let a dirty outside space turn them off. You are so used to what your store looks like that you never see the bad things that customers notice. Before it gets really cold (or really hot in the southern hemisphere) give your parking area, sidewalk, windows, door and awnings a thorough cleaning. Touch up your paint and trim.
4. Make an actual plan for your marketing. Too many of us reuse old decoration and old ads because it’s easy. I’ve done it, but I won’t this year. Find a retail-minded friend, sit down and brainstorm some new ideas, new decorations and new ads.
5. Participate in or organize local shopping events. Be part of Small Business Saturday and any local events your chamber or merchants organize to promote local shopping. Don’t have any? Knock on the door of five other local retailers and start one together. You can sign up to lead a Small Business Saturday event and get lots of ideas from them.
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
- About the Author
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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.