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Archive for October, 2012

Christmas in October

Last October in a business networking meeting I dared to bring up that fateful event of Christmas! Yes although it was weeks away, in my background of retail, Christmas starts in the half term of October. After a busy end to August for the whole back to school thing, September goes deadly quite – the lull before the storm. Then October half term happens and shoppers thoughts turn to the festive season.

However when I brought up Christmas at a networking meeting, where I was the only female, I was hit with a wave of negativity. I had simply asked ‘how was everyone changing their marketing for the Christmas run up’. A photographer told me he was doing ‘nothing’ in regards to marketing and another networker piped up ”well I just close down for 2 weeks”. The subject was then changed very quickly.

Although I realise that not all businesses experience a busy spell for Christmas I certainly don’t believe anyone should sit back and miss out on what is the highest spending month of the year.

This is where some brainstorm and planning comes in to play, and although any new ideas may not produce millions of sales, it ensures that your brand is seen to be active and pro-active. I would suggest a brainstorming session with your mastermind group or coach for some simple and maybe silly ideas for festive promotions. I’ve listed below a few ideas for the people that I know who usually take Christmas as a ‘holiday’ from business – which they then come to regret when they are desperate for sales in January.

(Apologises if some of these are obvious, but believe me there are business owners out there who do not take advantage of these opportunities)

Life Coach – this one is easy, they should be promoting goal setting for the New Year, yes correct, but most coaches wait until January to start advertising this. Trust me there is no harm in advertising early, especially when you add an early-bird discount. There is a lot of people out there who will fail to make a list of goals at the end of January (because the moment has passed), but many of them will feel more inspired at the end of December, so get them booked.

Also Xmas de-stress sessions and Xmas planning sessions – maybe in workshop format rather than one-2-one, should be good earners.

Author – Ummm books are in the top 5 for gifts! So 2 for 1 offers, BOGOF, anything that creates a sale.

Photographer – Portraits and pet portraits for gifts. Gift vouchers for a photoshoot. Book now for your X% discount off your July wedding. Photo shot for personalised Xmas cards.

Appointment company – I admit it’s very hard to get people to commit to sales appointments in the run up for Christmas, so get them booked now for January instead, so simple. And the holidays is probably a great time to be contacting domestic customers as they are all at home.

Storage facility – extra space for Christmas, you know when you have all the family to stay, or a secret present room – have your mail-order items sent straight to a self-storage unit for safe keeping until the big day.

Cleaning company – offer a reduced quick blitz session, aimed at saving people time when they are busy doing festive things. This is a great introductory offer to new clients as it gives them a chance to see how having a cleaning improves their life.

Basically what I’m trying to say is that the world does not end at Christmas and so what if it’s a quiet time for your business – get off your arse and do something about it! Don’t just accept that you won’t be earning any money, plan something different to entice sales and be profitable because that’s why you started a business in the first place.

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