Tag Archive : holiday

Any small business owner knows how stressful the holiday season can feel. December comes around, and it becomes hard to participate in the holiday spirit amidst the hustle and bustle of the fourth quarter. Here are a few guidelines to staying sane during this busy time:

Eat a Balanced Diet
You may think eating has nothing to do with running your business (unless you run a restaurant!), but studies show that’s not at all the case. In fact, there are signals sent directly from your stomach to your brain, which impact your level of stress. So swap out junk food for some fruit and vegetables, and focus on portion size when attending holiday parties with indulgent treats. Eating better will actually make you feel better during those long days at work this month!

Ditch Your Coffee
Caffeine may feel good in the moment (like, really good), but overtime, too much caffeine can cause you to be emotionally overreactive to stress. Drink some festive egg nog instead of your usual cup of joe a few times a week. Cutting back on caffeine will increase its positive effects when you do drink it.

Time to Unwind
Another thing that will make you feel a whole lot better during those long days is a reward waiting for you at the end! Whether it’s time spent baking some christmas goodies, hanging out with your family, or even watching A Christmas Story- you need some down time to balance all your hard work. Also, reward your employees or co-workers by including them in a festive wine night, or treating them to dinner, where you can all focus on making spirits bright.

Get Enough Sleep
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute recommends seven to eight hours of sleep per night for adults. This holiday season, make a point of having lots of silent nights. You will feel more productive in the morning and be more motivated when helping your many customers!

Play Some Music
In the words of Buddy the Elf: “The best way to spread christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear!”. Okay; so maybe the constant Christmas music echoing through the month of December is not something you find completely relaxing. That said, music is good for your brain. It makes you happier, more productive, and more motivated. Your mood can be improved by simply listening to your favorite tunes. Try listening to music on the way to work, or even playing it in your work environment.

Take some deep breaths, and keep calm this month. After all, the holidays are about appreciating our lives and loved ones, and spreading kindness. Keep that in mind, along with these relaxing tips, and you’re sure to have a successful holiday season.

The holiday season will be here before you know it, and now is the perfect time to map out your digital-marketing campaigns in order to drive the most revenue for your business.

Waiting too long puts you at a severe disadvantage — you need to be ready to capitalize on the increased traffic and the mindset of consumers during this period. They will be ready and willing to click that buy-now button, so run through this quick six-step checklist to make sure your online business is ready for the fast-approaching holiday season.

REMEMBER: Save Local Now is a completely free member benefit. Included in your digital platform: content publishing, email marketing, search engine optimization, and social media sharing.

1. Analyze previous holiday-season data.

This is something so simple, yet many businesses completely ignore the gold mine of data they have available to them. Where did the majority of your holiday traffic that lead to conversions come from last year? Was it email marketing, social media, paid search or organic traffic?

2. Build out holiday-specific landing pages.

You will want to have several landing pages to split test, so rather than scrambling to get them done at the last minute, build them out now. This allows you to start your holiday marketing with a large group to pull data from.

The sooner you are able to clip the poorly performing pages and identify your highest converting landing pages, the sooner you can push the majority of your traffic to the best performing landing pages. You want to make sure you have identified your best performers before the peak of holiday season.

3. Set up your holiday email-marketing campaigns.

There is a good chance that your holiday email offers and funnels will be slightly different than your traditional email campaigns. For example, your traditional conversion funnel might reach the consumer every 10 days with an offer, but during the holiday season you will want to be a little more aggressive. Consumers are in the buying mood — if you wait too long you might lose those potential customers to a competitor that reached them sooner.

4. Ensure your website is mobile-friendly.

It’s been said a million times — you need a mobile-friendly website. While running your site through Google’s mobile-friendly test is a good start, you need to also test your user experience with real visitors.

Ask friends, family, employees and complete strangers to access your website via their mobile devices and have them navigate your pages, access your offers, submit your forms and attempt to contact your business. You need honest feedback — if something sucks they need to tell you. Holiday visitors are in the buying mindset, so you need to make sure they don’t get frustrated or annoyed while on your website.

5. Map out your holiday content marketing.

It’s never too early to start planning your holiday content. Start chipping away at it now and you can have all of your blog posts scheduled ahead of time.

You will also want to consider increasing your posting frequency during the holiday season. This should be something that you start discussing early with whomever is handling your SEO. You will often want to create your content around holiday specific keywords.

6. Schedule your holiday season social-media posts.

If you aren’t using an automated social-media tool, now is the time to look into it. I use Hootsuite — it costs me less than $120 a year and allows me to schedule posts far in advance. You never want to automate all social media, but it’s nice to know that you always have posts scheduled that can spark interaction and drive website traffic.

Holiday-specific images, hashtags and messages are key — your approach will be a bit different during the holiday season. During peak holiday season, don’t be afraid to throw some direct offers out there — people will be searching for deals and using the correct hashtags and keywords can help attract purchase-ready consumers.

Original Article: http://entm.ag/1NB1ifs

As you know by now, Save Local Now is a true “Buy Local” initiative. With the holidays now just weeks away (can you believe it?!), we wanted to highlight how easy it is to promote your business on the SLN platform. Throwing a special Thanksgiving event? No problem! Offering a Thanksgiving FEAST of savings? Even better! Drive consumer traffic by creating promotions on your Save Local Now platform. November_MP_Chamber_Newsletter

Consumers are looking to buy local this season; let’s make it easy on them! Use your Save Local Now platform to promote fresh produce, holiday décor, or where to buy the plumpest turkey in town; this will drive consumer traffic and encourage shoppers to keep their money close to home this season.

Last but not least, don’t forget to share the promotions you create with Save Local Now’s social sharing benefit; reach more consumers in just 1 click!

From our table to yours, Happy Thanksgiving!

Small Business Saturday is a tradition started in 2010 by American Express to encourage consumers to visit their local and smaller sized businesses. Falling on the day after Black Friday when big box stores are knocking down prices (and sometimes people) to get rid of products, Small Business Saturday offers shoppers a more comfortable experience with unique items. We obviously think it is a good idea to shop local any time of the year but we love the idea of having a special day for the businesses. Thus, here is a quick checklist for things a small business owner can do to prepare for the day. (Hint: A lot of these you can do using your Save Local Now account!)

Business Champ

___  Visit the American Express Website

They have a lot of free resources for you to use! Everything from logos and printables to shopping bags and doormats to let your customers know you are participating in the event. You can also join community circles and use social media templates to spread the word.

___  Update your email contact list

Clear out the bouncers and add any new ones you might have acquired. Also have fresh email sign up sheets ready for the big day.

___  Create a holiday deal that encourages referrals

There is nothing you can do in your own marketing efforts that outweighs the recommendation of a good friend. With everyone looking to spend some money in the next two months, now is a good time to launch this deal and let it expire after the new year.

___  Create a countdown to the big day

Post it to your social media accounts or send it out in email. Get creative with it! You can post a new picture of some great item in your store with every new day or post something that will be on your menu to entice local shoppers to stop by for the Small Business Specials. If you are a service or less visual business you can still keep it fun by adding quick videos or snap shots of the staff to let people see your fun side!

___  Update your information

A lot of people will be in from out of town. Make sure your address and contact information is correct both on your Save Local Now profile, and on any other travel or business listing sites.

___  Encourage year-round savings

Encourage every new customer who comes through the door on Small Business Saturday to download the Save Local Now app. Remind them that they can find you, and all the other local businesses in the chamber on Save Local Now any time of the year, and even follow their favorites.

We are wishing you all the very best of luck for Small Business Saturday as well as the rest of the holidays! Please remember to check back in with us at the blog for more tips, tricks, and holiday fun! Also, If you have a great holiday idea or story to share with us please do so at blog@savelocalnow.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

1. Shopping local creates jobs.

Most local stores hire within the community. Making them successful allows them to hire more people, which creates more jobs, and therefore more money spent locally!

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2. Shopping local saves you money.

It might appear cheaper in big box stores or online but every little bit counts…including gas and shipping. When you shop at the store that you can walk to you won’t have to pay for any of that! Who doesn’t want to save on gas?!

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3. Local, independent shops do more to give back to the community.

Most local businesses do a lot to support our communities through local charities, schools, and community events. Doing good feels great!


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4. Better customer service.

Studies have shown us time and time again that people receive better customer service when they shop locally.

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5. Avoiding Walmart.

Do we have to say more?

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6. Shopping local keeps services in business.

Local shops go hand in hand with the local services such as the tailor, hairdresser and banker. If there are no shops then there are no services…which means you’d have to cut your own hair.

 

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7. Keep dollars Local

Fact: Locally owned businesses put a greater revenue share back into the local economy compared to chain stores.

 

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8. Support entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship is what fuels America’s economy. Be patriotic! Support innovation and prosperity!

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9. Help the environment.

Not only are you helping your wallet by not spending money on transportation; you’re also helping the environment. Shopping local means less sprawl, congestion, habitat loss, and pollution.

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10. Local shops offer more unique products.

Shopping locally provides you with the opportunity to discover something different. You’re not likely to find the same thing at a local store as you would at the mall. Find something unique like a vintage prom dress or maybe even a unicorn!

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Don’t forget: Small business Saturday is November 30th. Get out and buy local! Use the Save Local Now app to find all the great deals and holiday events your local stores have to offer!

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The holiday season is among us! I know, hard to believe right? So, how are you going to get crowds to deck the halls at your business this year? Don’t worry if you don’t have an answer to that just yet, we’ve got a few tips to help you out!

Host an Event

Hosting events is a great way to promote yourself and get people going through the door. Think about it, are you more likely to go to a mall with smelly food courts and pretentious stores or, go to that really cute store around the corner that’s hosting an event that gives you free cupcakes with purchase? I vote cupcake. If your feeling really creative, get that local cupcake store to work with you. Cross promotion is the best way to get the local community involved and it’s a win win for both of you! Be creative and festive also by hanging up decorations and playing seasonal music to get people in the holiday spirit. You can also take to social media. Hold Facebook competitions where winners receive prizes that encourage them to come to the store. You’ll not only build your following, but you’ll also get more shoppers in your store.

Sell Small

Everyone’s looking for a great way to save. Selling products that make good gifts makes everyone happy. Put together a small gift package like roll on perfumes, travel sized hair products, lotions, and packets of tea and voila you’ve got a great product you’re customers will love and appreciate. These items can be marketed as great stocking stuffer too! It’s also a great way to get shoppers to sample your products as well, which will encourage them to come back again and again which brings us to our final tip…

Encourage Loyal Customers

Everyone wants to feel like they matter, and you should be treating your loyal customers like VIP. These loyalty programs can be super effective during the holiday season. It can be as simple as sending them a holiday card or giving them a free ornament with purchase. These little things mean a lot to the customer and makes them feel like they get something special when they shop with you. Your employees also deserve a little appreciation. Host a Christmas party or have an employee appreciation night and allow them to bring their friends. Show them how grateful you are for their hard work and maybe they’ll be encouraged to work even harder.

Of course we’ll always be here to provide more ideas but these quick tips should help get you started! What are you waiting for? GO!