The holiday shopping season is here—but it is not just a season for big box stores. Even if you own a home-based business, offering promotions during the holiday rush is a good way to draw in a few more customers. But how can a work-from-home business compete with all those seemingly big deals from big companies? With a little creativity, you can offer special promotions during the holiday season. Here are five ideas, including some for both retail and service-oriented businesses, to get you started.
1. Participate in Small Business Saturday
Sure, Black Friday gets all the hype, but the next day is saved for small businesses. Small Business Saturday is the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and—you guessed it—if you're a work-from-home mom, your business certainly qualifies as small. You could choose to offer a one-day-only discount to encourage more sales, but even if you decide not to, you should still take advantage by using social media to remind potential customers about the benefits of shopping small.
2. Add a Free Gift to Any Purchase
'Tis the season of giving—so why not give customers a little something extra to encourage more purchases? Adding in an expensive item for free, particularly those that make good stocking stuffers, is a promotion that can bring sales in. Just be sure to set limits—how much do they need to spend to get the free item? Will you limit it to the first 50 customers?
3. Offer Free Gift Wrapping
If adding in a free gift is too expensive for your business, throw in free gift wrap. If you look for deals, wrapping paper isn't very expensive, yet it can entice some customers who might be on the fence. Wrapping gifts can take hours—so getting one wrapped for free is often an enticing extra.
4. Provide a A service? Make Sure Gift cards Are Available
Don't have a retail business? Service-oriented businesses can still take advantage of the holiday shoppers by offering gift cards. Who wouldn't like to get a free manicure, photography session, or free child care for Christmas? Make sure to design an official gift card and get the word out through social media, email blasts and word-of-mouth.
5. Donate a Portion of Every Purchase to a Local Charity
Promotions don't have to give back to the customer. Instead of offering a discount, why not donate a portion of every purchase to a charity? Customers may be more likely to make a purchase when they see their money is not only helping out a small business, but a local family or cause in need as well. Food banks as well as organizations that provide Christmas to those who would otherwise go without, like the Salvation Army or Toys For Tots, make good options.
You don't have to have a big business to draw in holiday shoppers. Many recognize the benefit of supporting local small businesses—and you don't have to be big to offer good sales. Whether you sell a product or offer a service, running holiday specials is a good way to earn a little extra Christmas cash for yourself.