The saddest words in all of retail: after the holidays. It’s winter, but no longer Christmas. In Maine, we are living in the cold, dark time of year, without the respite of lights and parties and cookies. In business, we are also entering into a quiet period. Consumers have spent aggressively throughout the holiday season, and are now rebuilding their savings, rethinking their budget, and definitely being much more cautious when it comes to money.
How can you tap into what is left of that disposable income that is floating around? January is a notoriously tough month for small businesses and start-ups, but we have a few clever solutions for boosting post-holiday sales to inspire and encourage your customers to dig deep and invest in your wares.
New Year, New Marketing Plan
Do you have a solid social media strategy? If not, now is the time to put one in place. Consider partnering with an agency that specializes in digital marketing, so you can continue to dedicate your time to your business. If you post to social media yourself, there are a few creative marketing ideas we can impart, that almost anyone can employ straight away. Post consistently and with ease by using a calendar or scheduling tool. Engage your audience – people like to be asked questions and they like to talk about themselves. Share a tidbit about yourself or your business, your hopes, and goals and inspire folks to share their stories and feel invested in what you are up to. Try out a new platform. Could Instagram move your sales needle? Start posting content and determine which channel will work best for you. Find a new demographic and shore up ties with your base audience.
January is the month to reconnect! During the holiday season, people are busy and buzzing around, giving gifts and trying in vain to attend every function. After the hustle and bustle is over, we have a chance to breathe, to catch up, and look inward. Now is when the small business can make inroads connecting with customers. What are they posting about and searching for? Where are they looking to spend and save? If you are in the wellness industry, you can absolutely maximize the gestalt of health and transformation. Be creative. Expand your email list with a contest or other contact-making endeavor. You can network in a way that feels less sales-y and more authentic to get the most out of each potential customer and their limited, but extant, budget for personal spending.
Discounts and Preparations
Put stuff on sale. People like deals, even perceived deals, in the weeks and months after Christmas. Where you can afford to slash prices, do so. Know your margins, and make room for turning a smaller profit, but a profit, nonetheless. Have money coming in with fun flash sales or promotion codes if you have an online presence. Which merchandise can you discount without losing money? And, while the season is quiet, prepare for a busier quarter by making repairs and doing the necessary maintenance. Conduct trainings and invest emotionally in your employees. All these proactive measures will result in turning a larger profit over time. Be patient; it’s hard, but you can endure the January business blues with a little forethought and planning.
Greenlight Maine supports, promotes, and mentors small businesses in our state. What would you like to contribute to the next season?