October is really the start of the holiday season in my mind. These 3 months are when some businesses make the majority of their sales, often led by the “Black Friday”/”Cyber Monday” sales days. If you’re a summer business it may not affect you (unless you can get on board with “Giving Tuesday” somehow or offer deals for next summer), but for the rest of us there’s a lot of potential in these last 3 months that so many businesses waste. So today I wanted to address the holiday season and help you kick it into gear if you haven’t already.
To start we need to answer the really big question: why bother? I believe that most businesses, especially those who change or tweak what they offer on a regular basis, have a great opportunity to participate in the seasons and holidays and offer some really fun and creative options that aren’t available all year long. Starbucks is really great with this, offering seasonal drinks and treats depending on the flavors and foods that are grown or celebrated at that time. Also, while they always bring back some customer favorites there are always at least a couple of completely new options they try. Restaurants, artists, musicians, family care services, cleaning services, event locations, grocery stores, beverage companies, bakeries, business consultants, marketers, travel companies and TV/radio stations are just a few of the businesses that can tap into the seasons and holidays and add a little something special to surprise their customers and interest new ones too.
So, assuming that you’re going to jump on the opportunity this holiday season presents, no later than the 2nd week of October should you have your plan for the rest of the year nailed down and be able to start celebrating the holidays. This starts with planning the products and services you’ll be offering for the next 2.5 months and, if necessary, getting the designs shipped off so testing and creating can begin. It also includes sketching out your website and marketing designs and ads for the rest of the year and planning who will make those changes and when, interviewing extra staff, considering special events you’re going to offer or participate in, if you’ll be doing a charity drive of some sort, and any other little things that you and your team can do to make the holiday season a little more unique and special. Completing this planning stage by the second week of October means that you’ll just have to deal for the most part with serving your holiday specials to your customers for the rest of the year.
Offering seasonal/holiday options are a great way to stand out from similar businesses and let customers and potential customers know that you’re not just about the bottom line, but that you recognize changing needs and desires customers have, and that you know how to have some fun too. I would love to help you plan the next 2.5 months of your business with special holiday offers, stop by my website and let’s talk! If you already have holiday plans I invite you to share your ideas in the comments.