Small Business Season: keeping the sales momentum going
If you participated in small business season—a push to support small businesses during the holidays—we hope you experienced a significant uptick in sales. If you did, you may be wishing that this kind of support, caring, and revenue could continue throughout the year. It can. You just need to leverage the momentum you already built.
Use these tips to keep your sales momentum rolling into the new year and beyond.
Reevaluate Your Goals
Review your revenue over the holiday season. How will the numbers impact next year’s goals? If you had a successful season, what made it so? How will you build upon that success? Did you do anything differently this year from last year?
After living with COVID for nearly two years, reexamine how you have changed your business. Ask yourself if you would be prepared to do it again should increased numbers of cases create additional forced closures in the future.
Next, break your goals into smaller pieces like – January: create new content and web design. February: implement planned changes to the virtual shopping cart, etc.
Finally, communicate your goals to your team. Make sure everyone knows where you’re going and how you plan to get there.
Tell Your Customers’ Stories
Over the holiday season, you were probably a part of many emotional stories. Maybe you helped someone find the perfect gift. Maybe you provided a service that meant the world to someone or maybe you helped make a moment very special. Tell these stories in the new year.
Talk about how extraordinary your customers are. Let the light shine on them as the hero of your story. That type of selfless showcasing of others makes people feel good. People want to do business with people they like.
Talk About Your Team
Your employees likely are part of the reason you had success this holiday. It’s time to show them some appreciation. Tell their stories. Thank them publicly. Help your customers and community get to know them.
As a bonus, showcasing your staff not only keeps your sales momentum going, it could help you attract employees in the future as well.
Look at Your Sales Data from Q4
Examine your sales data from the holiday season and ask the following questions:
• What did you learn about what people purchased, when, and in what quantity?
• What sales or discounts brought in the most traffic?
• What marketing seemed to work best?
• What social media posts got the most attention and reactions?
• What can you learn from this data and how will you apply it in 2022?
Play Up Your Strengths
Small businesses will rarely win against the mega brand names, big box stores, or chain restaurants by offering the cheapest price or deepest discounts. Those large businesses can afford to lose money in one department to bring it into another.
Instead, play to your strengths as a small business. You know the town and people you sell to. Even if you don’t know them personally, you know what they identify with. You have commonalities and can connect in a way that large companies headquartered elsewhere can’t. Focus on what your business does better than the big guys and do more of it.
Finally, show your audience the difference between your business and the big guys, don’t tell them. For instance, don’t say you have great customer service, use testimonials to show examples of it. You can also use videos, images, stories, and other content. When you show your audience the differences, they’ll feel them in a memorable way. If you’re lucky, they will share those impressions with others.
If you’ve had a strong small business season, don’t let that momentum subside. Build upon it with these easy tips and start 2022 off with your strongest quarter yet.
Christina R. Metcalf (formerly Green) is a marketer who enjoys using the power of story and refuses to believe meaningful copy can be written by bots. She helps chamber and small business professionals find the right words when they don’t have the time or interest to do so. Christina hates exclamation points and loves road trips. Say hi on Twitter or reach out on Facebook.