Small Business Basics: Holiday Marketing Tips

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With the chill of winter spreading over the US and the smell of Thanksgiving preparations wafting from kitchens all over, it’s time for small businesses to start their holiday marketing and decorating efforts. Many businesses have already rolled out some type of holiday trapping, but if you have not yet, or are planning on adding more, these classic tips can help you make the most of the holiday shopping season and help your staff and your clients get into the spirit.

Keep your decorations simple and tasteful. You can have as many decorations as you are willing to take down after the holidays, but try to keep the general themes of your decoration simple and holiday appropriate. Of course, there are exceptions to this rule, and some small business owners will do very well by decorating every inch of their location with gaudy and over the top lighting and ornaments, in particular retail businesses that are trying to draw attention to their storefronts. In general, however, keeping decorations reigned in and unobtrusive will better allow your clients to find what they are looking for in your store and serve as a nice compliment to your product presentation. The more decorations you put up, the higher likelihood of someone or something getting tangled up in them, and the longer time spent putting them up and taking them down. Tasteful decoration mean sticking to decorations that are appropriate for the demographic you expect to be serving. Bear in mind that even if your average shopper is older, during the holiday season many parents take their children shopping for gifts with them, so adult humor or themes may limit the types of customers who feel comfortable entering your store. Bear this in mind when choosing how to lay out your displays.

Be sure to put your products first and foremost. While it is both exciting and fun to decorate a business, including setting up artistic window displays and hanging lights and ornaments, it is a cardinal sin to forget about your actual products. Make sure that they are not only visible, but the highlight of your displays as you set them up. Lists of displays on Flickr and though image searching on Google can give you a good idea of how window displays can be both dramatic and eye catching and highlight the great qualities of your products.

Double check your set up for safety. This is the most important tip that we can give on the subject of holiday decorating. It is absolutely essential to remember to double check all electrical connections and keep wires away from high traffic areas. Keep connections away from flammable stacks of paper, areas where there is potential for them to come into contact with liquid, and anywhere that there will be small children present. Make sure that you have a fire extinguisher on hand at all times in an area that all your staff are aware of. This should be standard procedure anyway, but particularly during the winter months where the air is dry and heaters, lights, and other hazards have extra potential to create conflagrations, having a fire plan worked out is an important precaution.

These common sense tips can allow business owners to make the most of their holiday decorating without allowing it to create any problems for them. Keep decorations tasteful and easy to assemble, and make sure to highlight your products above all. Most importantly, enjoy the season!

Photo Credit to C___ on Flickr

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