Image courtesy of Kevin Dooley
Image courtesy of Kevin Dooley

Christmas is a time when people spend a lot of money and if you run your own business, then it can be really good to be part of it. Obviously some businesses are seasonal and it could be that your business is more targeted towards a Christmas market than others, but it is still good to work hard on thinking about how you can encourage more custom at this time of the year.

You need to think about Christmas from two angles. It could be that you are aiming for people to buy your products as gifts for others. This is obviously the big thing at this time of the year. However, there is also the fact that people get stressed and tired at this time of the year and may want to treat themselves as well. This is why holidays are always advertised straight after Christmas.

You will need to think about who specifically your items are for and who you need to target that is likely to be buying them. For example, although toys are for children, they will not be buying them themselves, their parents will be buying them. Therefore you need to think about appealing to the potential recipient of the item as well as the potential buyer and maybe finding a way for the recipient to appeal to the buyer to get them to buy them the item. This is easier with children than it is with other people as grownups tend not to specifically ask for gifts.

You also need to think about timing. If you are going forward with an advertising campaign when do you start it? Many people start very early as people do tend to shop quite early for Christmas. However, with many places having sales near to Christmas, some people now hang on until nearer to the time and there are some people that even shop in the sales afterwards. It can therefore be quite difficult to time any advertising or promotions, but if you were in business last Christmas, sales then will give you a clue.

It is always worth giving people the option of vouchers. Some people like to give them as gifts, particularly for people who they may not know exactly what they want or when they want something. They are very easy to make and sell and they could be a way to increase your Christmas season sales. The great thing about vouchers is that when they are redeemed people often spend more than the voucher value so you can gain more from them. You can also get new customers this way as your current customers may buy vouchers for people who have not shopped with you before. Hopefully they will enjoy using them and buy from you again.

It can always be good to try to stand out at this time of the year. Therefore having a small discount, bonus or free gift can encourage people to shop with you. Even if it is something small, it can make your business stand out above your competitors and encourage people to shop with you rather than with them.