Sometimes the hardest thing for small business is the strategy. We see the day to day need, intimately, and we dive in with our products, services and solutions. And because we hustle diligently, and bustle consistently (hustle and bustle? Can you feel the holiday message on the way?), we survive.
But long term, business is about more than just survival. If we intend to thrive and create things for our children’s children to build on, then marketing (and systems) remains a linchpin to our businesses.
What better time than the holiday season to give ourselves the gift of strategy?
By now we are well into the 12 days of Christmas and instead of panicking (I haven’t done enough to promote my business!) or ignoring (Oh, well maybe next time), consider strategizing. And it doesn’t have to be that deep at first.
Here are three simple steps to get you started.
The Christmas and end-of-year holiday seasons are great for business, and there is no reason that small businesses should miss out, when a little strategy can do the trick.
- Review some reliable holiday marketing tips. We have plenty for you to dive into.
- Write down your favorites and use one-liners to explain the what and why of each strategy. If you like an idea because it is simple, affordable, effective, fun, then say it on paper in a single sentence.
- Create a simple three-step plan for how you will use the idea during your very next holiday marketing opportunity. Put the plan’s start date on your calendar, in your Blackberry with the alarm (so that it’s impossible to miss it).
We have a few articles to help you close out your 2010 plans and develop your 2011 marketing strategy:
12 Low-Cost Marketing Ideas for the Ho-Ho-Holidays! (by Ivana Taylor): I really like Ivana’s digital holiday tree. Plus Moo.com has all kinds of goodies to help your marketing adventures year-round.
Are You Decorating Your Website for the Holidays? (by Anita Campbell): This is a fun, subtle and classy tip. You may choose to work it in as simply as Google does. It just lets your customers know that there is a human being behind the business.
Now Is the Time to Get Free Publicity for Your Product in Holiday Gift Guides (by Margie Zable Fisher): This is a tip that you had to implement in May in order to get the holiday benefit, but that’s exactly why we are strategizing today.
7 Ways to Clean Up Your Site for the New Year (by Lisa Barone): You know you’ll be sleeping late on January 1, after that New Year’s Eve party. So, get your website ready now! This way, when you wake up for business on January the 2nd or so, you can relish your New Year’s tweaks, remove the holiday remnants and dive into the heart of your marketing strategy (because you have already taken care of your website housekeeping).
How to Be a Greener Business for the Holidays (by Kelly Spors): Are your gifts already wrapped and you missed the chance to go green? If that’s you, then check out these tips and plan ahead for next year. Besides, many of the go-green holiday tools that you need are on sale right now.
Holiday Marketing: A Few Favorite Things (by Jamillah Warner): In the spirit of Oprah, these are some classic holiday marketing tips. Sometimes, old-faithful solutions are just what we need in order to remain connected to our customers during the holiday season and beyond.
10 Things You Can Do in the Next 60 Days to Market Your Business (by Travis Campbell): Travis, the Marketing Professor, filled this one up with powerful solutions. Read it and grab at least a couple ideas to implement for your business as soon as possible. This article is a game changer.
Strategy is a gift that we give to ourselves. “Unwrap” these solutions (many of them quite simple) and start playing with them like a child on Christmas morning (excited and amazed), because marketing is business, but it can also be fun.
Simple Marketing. Happy Holidays.