This weekend I braved the malls to do some people watching and check out the sales. As my husband and I managed to work our way in to the local Best Buy store, I bumped in to another shopper in the crowded aisle. She was very pleasant and we joked about hearing that there was a rumor about a recession, but by the looks of the long line at the register and the crowds, you would never believe the reports. Holiday gift giving, a tradition that I have grown up with and my children see as the norm of what you do in December. Maybe people scaled down the quantity or the amount they will spend, but that is why advertising during tough times is so important. The big box stores understand this and that is why they invest in air time on TV, radio, mailers, and aggressive on-line campaigns. But what can a small business do to be sure to get their share of shoppers?

Beyond my first choices of doing a targeted cable TV campaign in your direct area and advertising on a few local radio stations, you can still draw people to your business in other ways. Getting involved in the community holiday festivities through your chamber organization and hosting an event at your store will offer an opportunity for a press release about the event and attract potential shoppers who come to the event. Also, if the city zoning allows your store front to have holiday balloons and signs out front be sure to add them, along with decorative holiday lights and wreaths around your store window so that when people drive by they notice your place and want to stop in. If you lack the holiday spirit and your store reflects that, it is tough to motivate shoppers to spend money for gifts with you. This also applies to your website. Have your web designer add some festive colors and bold sale signs to your landing pages so that a person remains in the holiday frame of mind when they visit your site on-line. Make purchasing on-line simple and with the least number of steps as possible and have your phone number on all your web pages. Also, if you have a monthly email newsletter that you send to your current client base, be sure to add a coupon for savings as a way to thank them and draw them to your business. Remember to smile and be friendly and add a bowl of candy at your counter if possible. You want to make sure that when people are in your store they have a great experience and ask them to tell their friends to stop in, too.

Happy Selling!

All my best to your success!

“Success wears the Purple Diamond!”