Friday, September 26, 2014

5 tasks every business should have done by Halloween.

The season of pumpkin flavored everything may seem months away – and the holiday season even father off in the distance. Yet, in reality, once the back to school campaigns start to die down, small businesses should already be thinking ahead to the busy holiday season. Instead of waiting until the last minute to get ready, there are some steps you can take now to ensure that your small business ends the year on a high note.

Create a Holiday Marketing Plan
Did you know that 69% of consumers are more likely to frequent a local small business with a social media presence? It is important to decide how you will use all the marketing tools at your disposal, including social media and traditional routes, to your holiday advantage. The fall is also a great time to decide what holiday season outreach your small business will participate in and then start reaching out to get involved now.

Organize Tax Documents
Just as the whirlwind of the end of one year starts to settle, another looming time of year takes shape: tax season. Do yourself a favor and start getting organized now. Make sure you have important documents ready and available, and that your bookkeeping is up to date. If you plan to make any significant charitable donations before December 31, decide how much and where it will go.

Update Your Website
This is especially important if you are a retailer with an online presence. Make sure your site has your most recent merchandise listed and is easy to navigate for shoppers. While you are there anyway, double check all of your contact information and be sure that nothing has changed since you last modified it.

Even if your business doesn’t tend to get “dressed up” on a seasonal basis, take advantage of the cooler temperatures to update the look of your office. Change out faded furniture, update office equipment or just add new accessories that rejuvenate your professional look.

Touch Base with Customers
Get ahead of the holiday marketing game by sending out an email promotion, or just an newsletter with information about what is new and happening at your small business. Invite the customers in your email database to follow you on social media and to subscribe to your company blog. By reaching out to your customers long before your competitors do, you will plant the seed for success when the holiday season rolls around.

Whether you are a small business retailer, or service provider, gearing up for the end of the year (and the start of the next one) is a great way to prepare for a less stressful, more lucrative holiday season.

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