How will your business mark Christmas?

Running your own business already gives you plenty to think about. However, with less than two months to go before Christmas, have you thought about how you’ll be marking the festive season as a company? Maybe you’re planning a small office party if you have some staff or regular freelance workers. It’s also a time to remember your clients, to remind them of your brand and services as they look towards the new year. Here are some of the things you should be thinking about as the Christmas countdown gets underway.

Say it in a card…

As Christmas approaches, you’ll no doubt be drawing up a list of friends, family and colleagues that you would like to send a greetings card to. However, don’t neglect your customers. The festive season is an ideal time to remind your clients that you really value them and that you’re looking forward to working with them again in the new year.

Why not think about getting some personalized Christmas cards designed and printed? Ones that really reflect your brand and your client base. You can get some inspiration here. These are likely to make much more of an impact than a general pack of cards from the grocery store, which could be perceived as showing little thought or effort.

Take the time to include a personal message in each of the cards, so that you talk to each of your customers directly – reflecting your close working relationship and the journey you have been on so far. You may also want to have a think about including a special festive season offer on your products or services, giving them a reason to come back to you again. It’s the ideal time to do so. It is the season of goodwill after all!

Of course, you don’t have to send a traditional card in the mail. You could also design an electronic greetings card, which you can send via email; then you could donate the traditional mail costs to a charity.

Say it via social media…

If you’re running a small business, chances are you’re already very active on social media – utilizing it as an affordable tool to advertise and promote your services and connect with customers and potential clients.

Your social media platforms are also a great way to communicate your festive greetings, however, come up with something creative and memorable. Try not to just post a Christmas tree image with “Merry Christmas” written over it. You want it to be noticed. As with traditional Christmas cards, social media is also a great way to promote special offers for the new year – discounts and the like.

Think about how you can make your Facebook, Twitter and other platforms look festive. They need to be consistent and tie in with the image you want to portray as a company. And, how about posting a Christmas-related quiz or contest to boost engagement and interactivity?

You might want to schedule some social media posts, so that you can have a break from work over Christmas – while keeping up your social media profile, continuing the flow of communications with your customers and potential clients for the year ahead. It’s a busy time, so planning all of this in advance will help ease the strain.

A Christmas-ready website

So, what does your business do or sell? If any of your products or services would make great festive gifts, then you should be making the most of this time of the year! Christmas means retail, people are shopping everywhere. You should be looking to seal a share of the takings. Take a look at your e-commerce website and think about how you can make it all festive and Christmas-friendly. That doesn’t mean going tacky and posting lots of Christmas images all over the place. You need to be clearly signposting gift ideas, making them easy to find and to purchase online. Think about grouping them under categories such as “the ideal gift for him/her,” “stocking fillers” and so on.

If you’re mailing out products, make sure you make it clear what the deadline is for orders through your website and any electronic correspondence.

Your website can become your Christmas shop window, but make sure you plan and design it well in advance so that you get the maximum reach and impact in the run-up to the big day.

Party time

Christmas and New Year are a time to celebrate. Yes, with your family and friends, but also with your colleagues and clients. Holding a traditional office party can go a long way in rewarding your staff for their efforts throughout the year, making them feel valued, promoting good working relationships, and looking forward to the year ahead.

Similarly, with your loyal customers, even a small, festive drinks event can go far in rewarding their loyalty to you – and showing your appreciation to them. It could also be a good chance to meet face to face, to seal more business for the next year – and to make good contacts.

All these events don’t have to be expensive, swallowing up your precious budget. Low-key doesn’t necessarily mean low impact.

Review and think ahead

Many of us make New Year’s resolutions. Whether we stick to them, well that’s a different matter. But, seriously, for your business, the coming of Christmas and the new year ahead mark an important stage in your company year.

It’s a time you should be looking back on your achievements as a small business, celebrating them. It’s also a time to reflect on the things that didn’t go quite so well. Those promotions that maybe didn’t work. Those products or services that didn’t go to plan or sell very well. What do you want to achieve for your company in the year ahead? What do you want to do more of? What do you want to improve? Make a list, think of this time of the year as a chance to kick off a whole new stage of fresh thinking!

Thanks to Wendy

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