There’s good news for small businesses this holiday season. Sales are up compared with the same time last year and this despite super storm Sandy, which hurt small businesses, especially in the northeastern U.S. With one day left until Christmas, let’s look at some other news important to the small business community and some last minute tips for the holiday season.
All we want for Christmas. A report shows small business earnings for November up by 5.2 percent over last year, offsetting losses in October due to fallout from super storm Sandy. The report was compiled by MasterCard Advisors and Wells Fargo. In particular, smaller retailers showed improvement from October to November. Let’s hope December’s numbers will be equally impressive. The Washington Post
Last minute gift ideas. To boost your sales in the last few hours of shopping for the Holiday season, focus on connecting with customers who support and patronize small local businesses already. There are plenty of customers like this. Just ask Dean Wildman, a Daytona Beach-area consumer who does his Christmas shopping at small businesses whenever possible. Are you targeting these potential buyers? The Daytona Beach News-Journal
Spirit of the Season
Watch out for the competition. The downside of the holiday shopping season is that some items, like Christmas trees, are easy to supply at cheaper prices and increasingly big boxes like Whole Foods are getting into the act. This post and video shows one such example of a large retail store cutting into the revenue of smaller sellers. But as the video shows, there are those who will support small businesses and there are ways to distinguish yourself from the competition. New York Post
Create lifelong customers. Some holiday marketing is not about getting customers right this minute but about building customer relationships that will last a lifetime. Take the sending out of holiday cards to your clients. Hopefully you’ve already mailed these, but remember, even cards sent between Christmas and New Year make an impact. These aren’t promotional, says guest blogger Mikkie Mills, but are about building those long term relationships. Small Biz Diamonds
Get better holiday SEO. More customers are shopping online these days, and even those who don’t are using mobile devices to search for stores in their area to visit while they’re out shopping. So, obviously businesses with great search engine optimization, especially those promoting holiday specials, will do better with holiday shoppers. Unfortunately, this is not something your business can do at the last minute. Sites need time to rank. If you waited too long to optimize your site for the holidays this year, be sure to get an early start next holiday season. Start It Up Now
Down to the last minute. Certainly some shoppers will wait until literally the last minute (try today, for example) to get their holiday shopping done. It’s too late for some of the items on this last minute Holiday marketing list, of course, but there are other tips that may work for you, even on the last shopping day before the holiday. Use some creativity and get those last few sales! SBA.gov
Don’t let it end. Once the holiday season is over, there’s no reason to let your customer base dissipate or to let your sales drop off, says guest blogger Gene Sigalov of SimpleTexting.com. The best way to keep customers coming back long after the holiday and into the New Year is to use customer loyalty programs, preferably ones with active outreach via several different marketing channels. Noobpreneur
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This is great and really comes as no surprise. Now let’s see if we can top this in 2013. 🙂
Great tips, we used a few suggestions before Christmas and they worked great for us!
Great share….In particular,I find “Get better holiday SEO” very useful as this tells the importance of search engine optimization to the business world..
Cheers for mentioning one of our blog posts on yours 🙂
Happy holidays to you and SmallBizTrends.com’s readers – you rock!