We may have only just set foot into September, but for a business owner, you may as well have set foot into the twelve days of Christmas. That’s right- it’s time to start thinking about your Black Friday & Christmas marketing campaigns because before you know it, we will be smack bang in the middle of the most wonderful time of the year.
We say that loosely. For business owners, especially those in retail, it’s the time for many tears and headaches. However, it’s also the perfect time to get your name out there through seasonal opportunities, especially as 85% of shoppers choose to support small businesses. This is why Christmas planning early is crucial if you want to be fully prepared; reducing the likeliness of demolishing an entire yule log by 10 am every day.
In today’s post, we’re going to give you our top tips when planning for Christmas as a small business owner. As marketers of small businesses ourselves, we will also be applying these points to our 2021 Christmas marketing plans for our clients.
1. Budget EVERYTHING
First, on our Christmas planning checklist, we have budgeting. Ok so, we’re coming towards the end of the year, and that means only one thing; the end of your budget. Now we’re in September, you need to ensure that you’re keeping your spending at its minimum so that you can make as big of an impact as possible at Christmas. Small business owners won’t always have heaps and heaps of cash, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t still plan effective marketing campaigns at lower costs.
If you’re unsure how best to utilise your budget for the rest of the year, turn to somebody who can offer you advice and guidance. Here at Soshell, we pride ourselves on providing support for businesses of every size, especially SMBs. We understand that every company is in a different position, which is why our specialist team will create a bespoke marketing strategy that’s designed to meet your business goals and budget.
Going back to the budgeting. There are several elements that you need to consider when setting aside money for the festive season. Starting at marketing, you may decide to shoot an advert to raise awareness of a new product you’re launching that’s exclusive to Christmas. Or you may simply want to increase your spending on Facebook Ads. Either way, you need to design your strategy to understand your budgeting needs.
What’s more, Christmas planning also comes with other costs such as bonuses, parties and gifts. And with it being such a popular holiday period, you need to be able to cover your staff’s annual leave.
2. Be Prepared
Now, we may have briefly mentioned that preparation is critical for Christmas, but we didn’t go into much detail. We’re not just talking about your blog content plan; we’re talking about absolutely everything. Packaging, gift-wrapping materials, stock, staff numbers, understanding the year’s trends in your industry and everything else in between.
Once it hits Christmas, you best believe that your customers or clients will want as much convenience and ease at shopping as possible. If you’re offering gift wrapping, you can expect the men to be jumping for joy. If your shop doesn’t yet provide contactless, now is the time to start so that you appeal to those who no longer carry cash.
Your stock levels need to be on point. Your staff levels too. If you are expecting a massive influx of business, you need the resources to cater for this. This also relates to our budgeting point because you will almost inevitably spend more on products and even hiring temporary staff, but for a good reason. Your return on investment is what makes these moves worth it.
To ensure that you’re fully prepared, we recommend that you take a look at last year’s demands and go even as far as doubling them. At the end of the day, it has been an entire year, a year of growth and awareness for your business in most cases, and so you’d be surprised at how many customers may have you in the back of their mind when present purchasing.
Additionally, remember the little details. Are your website hover ads set up for any sales or offers you’re hosting? Is your out of office email notification on? Before you decide to jump off your computer and enjoy Christmas with loved ones, ensure that nothing can disrupt your business’s activities.
3. Become A Social Master
We recommend that every small business owner should have a social presence for their venture when Christmas planning. The only exception being companies that offer a type of service that wouldn’t necessarily gain any attention or appreciation on social platforms. For instance, a therapist might not always need a constant flow of Instagram posts, but offering daily advice on their Facebook may work in its place.
When planning for Christmas, this is the prime time for your business to be posting on all major platforms. If you already have an account, it can be easier for you to add to the followers you already have. However, if you’re a brand new small business, you’ll need to start from scratch. The best way to do this, you ask? Jump on every relevant trend you see.
Hashtags, retweeting and making your impact on controversial topics is how you will gain your audience’s attention. Reactive marketing is one of our favourite strategies here at Soshell. Most specifically on Twitter, you can start a conversation with complementary businesses or even your competitors (when done right!)
This can end up very humorous, and therefore, gain you an immense amount of attention. Memes and jumping on trending topics such as TV shows that are only airing during the Christmas period are also fantastic ways to boost your social media presence.
Christmas Planning With Soshell
Planning Christmas with Soshell may be your best bet at a stress-free end of the year. Whether you only have a question or you’re looking for a social media campaign that’ll cut through all the joyful noise, we can help you. We may be a small team of marketing professionals, but we have a vast background in all areas of digital marketing, giving us the skills and expertise that your small business needs for a successful Christmas time.
If you’d prefer to grab matters by the reigns yourself when Christmas planning, there is also a wide range of resources online that can give you the answer you need. Google For Small Business, for example, offers advice and assets to help entrepreneurs and small business owners operate smoothly.
Don’t forget, we’re only a call away on 01482 697190. Now go and start Christmas party planning, and we’ll take care of your business for an outstanding festive period.