15 Smart Ways for Service Businesses to Tap Into the Holiday Sales Season

Holiday Season for Service Businesses

The holidays are just around the corner. This time of the year is particularly important for retail businesses that can position their products as holiday gifts. However, service-based businesses can still tap into the holiday sales season. To find out more, we asked a panel of Young Entrepreneur Council members the following:

“What is the best way for service-based businesses to tap into the holiday season, particularly companies that are not retail-focused?”

Holiday Season for Service Businesses

1. Hold a Holiday Event

“Even if your business isn’t retail-focused, you can still hold a holiday event. For instance, a snow removal service can hold a holiday party for their customers. Invite leads and customers to attend, provide food and drinks and maybe even some entertainment. It’s a good way to promote your business and build stronger relationships with your leads and customers.” ~ Thomas GriffinOptinMonster

2. Send an Email Newsletter

“If you have subscribers, you need to take advantage of email to market to customers for the holidays and boost sales. Now is the time that people are mentally ready to spend money and spend it big. Leverage this desire by creating an email marketing strategy that offers deals, fun promotions and exclusive holiday offers.” ~ Stephanie WellsFormidable Forms

3. Create Holiday-Themed Content

“Many retail companies create holiday-themed content to promote their products like “15 Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas for Her.” But service-based businesses can create holiday-themed content as well. For instance, a catering company can create a blog post about Thanksgiving dessert ideas or a cleaning company can provide tips to readers to help them clean up before and after their holiday parties.” ~ David HenzelLTVPlus

4. Analyze Your Data From Last Year

“Your holiday data from last year can help you make informed decisions about the upcoming year. For example, if you notice that your email signups rose during November and December, you should look back at that content and try to find patterns in the data. If you plan properly, you can see better or equal results this holiday season.” ~ John TurnerSeedProd LLC

5. Help People Achieve Their New Year’s Resolutions

“At the start of the year, business owners are often looking to get their systems in order and launch aggressively toward new goals. This is a great time for service-based businesses to offer advice through content marketing. It’s also a perfect opportunity to offer incentives that draw on people’s motivations and resolutions for the new year.” ~ Madeleine NiebauervChief

6. Give Your Staff the Gift of Flexibility

“One of the biggest gifts we give our employees around the holidays is flexibility around their vacation hours. We ask people to give us their plans early so we can plan accordingly and don’t expect people to be in the office around the holidays. This allows them to spend more time with their families, spend less on flights and generally reduce holiday stress, which everyone appreciates.” ~ Tony ScherbaYeti

7. Partner With a Retailer for a Promotion

“People are in the mood to spend so you can help them do it by partnering with the right company to make that happen. You can also host your own discounts on your own service but if you do, people might expect that to appear every year. Giving away Amazon gift cards in exchange for reviews is a great thing to do as well.” ~ Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc.

8. Run a Giveaway Contest

“Giveaway contests make sense for service-based companies as much as product-based ones. Your marketing activities are not only about pushing sales. It’s helpful to remember that building your brand awareness also leads to future conversions. Create a themed giveaway contest on social media and gift the winner a branded item. Service-based companies can also give away holiday discounts.” ~ Syed BalkhiWPBeginner

9. Theme Your Services Appropriately

“You need to make sure that all your marketing matches not only thematic keywords but also to connect with users. Every SEO ranking needs to have genuine content that serves your target market. If you are a cleaning service, for example, you may offer special offers on last-minute housekeeping to help reduce holiday stress. You then rank for the most relevant keyword and satisfy your customers.” ~ Patrick BarnhillSpecialist ID, Inc.

10. Create Holiday Packages with ‘Bonus Hours’

“Try creating a holiday package and incorporating bonus hours. Offering bonus hours instead of discounts is a great way to sell higher-tier packages. For example, if you sell services that normally involve 20 hours, offer a bonus of five hours for the 30-hour tier. Depending on the nature of your business, come up with things you can bundle together that will be a special treat for your customers.” ~ Blair ThomaseMerchantBroker

11. Send Out Holiday Cards

“We provide custom software development services to our clients, and every Thanksgiving I send out a Macy’s gift card to my clients to thanking them for being our client. It shows them how much we value their business and we are there to support them. It doesn’t come out to be very expensive since the number of clients we have is less compared to an accounting or legal firm.” ~ Piyush JainSIMpalm

12. Jump on Black Friday and Cyber Monday Advertising Trends

“If you run a business that is not retail-focused, the best way for a service-based company to tap into the upcoming holiday season is to take advantage of the advertisement deals businesses look for this time of year with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Make sure you have promotional content ready to go for your business. That way, when businesses look for deals, your service will be available.” ~ David Chen, Sharebert

13. Invest in Paid Social Ads

“Consumers increasingly turn to social media platforms to find service providers. Organic social reach is not as effective as it once was, but paid social promotion on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter give brands a direct line to potential customers with rich targeting and segmentation tools. Paid social can increase brand awareness, drive traffic to a service business’s site and generate demand.” ~ Chris MaddenMatchnode

14. Be Gift-Friendly

“Create a package and imagery that makes your service look like a gift. If you can turn your service into something that a customer would gift to another person, you will fit right into the holiday season. Offer a bundle of sessions, or a discounted rate on your service to pull consumers in. You can promote gift cards, punch passes or other bundling options that work for your service offering.” ~ Jared WeitzUnited Capital Source Inc.

15. Take Advantage of the Holiday Slowdown

“Most non-retail businesses experience a bit of a slowdown during the holidays. If your company serves businesses that aren’t retail, you can suggest that they take advantage of the slower holiday period to work on positioning themselves for a strong upcoming year (by working with you!).” ~ Keith ShieldsDesignli

Image: Depositphotos.com

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The Young Entrepreneur Council The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

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  1. I agree about the part about New Year’s resolutions. If they see you as someone who can help you achieve your goal, they will most likely purchase your service.