Launching Your Holiday Business (In September) Tips
Updated: Jan 11, 2021
This article is for my seasonal entrepreneurs who hustle during the holidays. Game recognizes game and I see your hustle! I am focusing on this topic now since most of you haven’t thought about your holiday business because you think you should wait until November or even early December. DON’T! Start now!
The holidays are always a great time to do business. People will spend more money because, naturally, they are purchasing services or gifts for people they care about; and they are generally in a happier mood, which translates to more spending. However ‒ as a business owner ‒ if you do not plan well for it, your margins and supplies could become jeopardized.
First, you want to make sure that you have all your core resources and products early. During the holidays, suppliers and shipping services may increase their prices. You may also experience delays due to the influx of additional orders from competing businesses. By starting early in your planning, you can save money on expenses and pass the savings on to your customers. Starting to think about this before the holidays will also give you an advantage to start promoting to your customer base. Early planning buyers may take advantage of your special offers. You also give customers a chance to plan for the purchase of a significant service or offer, if they can start financially planning for it. This gives you a chance to get on their radar early. You may even get a chance to plan to offer early pre-orders with a discount, which means that you can get your materials cheaper and at good bulk rates.
Second, think about what you want to sell and offer. During the holidays, a lot of business‒especially small ones ‒ are competing for business, so consumers expect discounts and sales. For big box retailers, they can afford deep cuts because the likelihood is that customers will purchase more. However, entrepreneurs can’t risk losing sales. So, think about positioning services or products that will not cut into your revenue significantly. Another option is offering augmented versions of your products or services. Now, let me be clear, do not sell cheaper or lesser quality products, but think about augmented. For example, if you offer a service package that typically costs $60 for an hour, offer a 30-minute package for $35 or do a buy-one-get-one half-off service. That way, you get more clients and/or customer engagement.
Another way to engage customers is to incentivize them with discounts for later dates after the holidays. For example, if they purchase a service or product during a specific period, they will get a discount in January. That way, you know you will get repeat business and earned additional revenue.
Finally, if you plan to do any sort of holiday promotion, September is a good time or even earlier to get good rates with advertisers. It will also help you budget accordingly for promotion and save you money in the long run. It also means you can get first picks to early promotions before your competitors’ big holiday ads pop up.
The holidays always creep up but, if you plan early enough, you can ride the wave of positive revenue and spend your holidays with less stress and more good business.