As 2022 draws to a close, many small businesses are now in wind-down mode.
Shutting up shop for a couple of weeks or more over Christmas and New Year is commonplace, as owners take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy a well-deserved break.
But, if you’re keen to keep the doors open, there’re lots of things that you can do to help keep your turnover ticking over at what can be a slow time.
Running a marketing campaign with a like-minded business is one of them.
It can be an effective way for both parties to build brand awareness and drive sales, according to Naomi Brooker, Founder of public relations firm SUADA.
“Whether it’s compatible products, a competition, shared content or something completely new, working together can expand the reach of your respective businesses and augment your existing product or service offerings, often at a low cost,” she says.
“While many shoppers are drawn to a good sale, slashing your prices isn’t necessarily the only way to capture customer dollars during the post-Christmas weeks”
Moving away from markdowns
While many shoppers are drawn to a good sale, slashing your prices isn’t necessarily the only way to capture customer dollars during the post-Christmas weeks.
In fact, it can pay to take the opposite tack.
“If you don’t want to discount, it may be useful to explain why,” Brooker says. “An increasing number of SMEs are calling out the problematic nature of consistently discounting products and services – the impact this has on small business owners, the environment and consumerism.
“By taking the high road, you can have a nicely packaged reason to talk about your product or service in a positive way and can drive revenue as a result.”
It’s a strategy that’s working well for Krys Charalambous, the owner of online fashion site Modella Clothing. She offers free gift wrapping and shipping – extras others might charge for – and affordable prices all year round, in lieu of deep cut discounts over the holiday period.
“I feel that constant discounting cheapens brands and is not sustainable for a successful business in the long term,” Charalambous says.
A public relations push is another way to bring eyeballs to your website and customers through your door when trade is slow.
With many businesses, including PR firms, closed for the holidays, fewer people are pitching story ideas to publications. Come up with something that’s topical and interesting and try your luck, Brooker suggests.
“Whether it’s promoting a product, talking about 2023 trends in your industry or providing commentary on a bigger story that’s in the news, make sure it reinforces the key messages of your business and is relevant to the journalist and the outlet they write for,” she says.
“Positive media mentions can really help give your sales a boost.”
Cover for the year ahead
If you’ve not reviewed your business insurance for a while, the start of a new year may be a good time to do so. Contact your broker today to discuss the level of cover your policy provides and whether it’s appropriate for the needs of your business in 2023.
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