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Surviving the Post-Holiday Slump: New Ideas to Boost Sales Early 2018

2 minutes Read

As a small business owner, grappling with a drop in sales following the busy holiday season can be an annual challenge. But there are an array of seasonal events that fall early in the year that your business can capitalize on to attract customers.

Here are some holidays and events to consider utilizing during the first few months of 2018:

Become a Citizen of the World

In the first few months of the new year, there are numerous patriotic occasions that your business could celebrate. These range from U.S federal holidays such as President’s Day (February 19), to popular cultural celebrations like St. Patrick’s Day (March 17). Offering sales promotions around these occasions can boost customer interest and spending for several days if done right. As a restaurant, while giving discounts on Guinness for St. Patrick’s Day can help bring in extra customers, why not go full-hog and come up with an Irish menu for an entire week?

Depending on the nature of your business, it may be tricky to weave in similar promotions. However, even showing that your business celebrates such events from a symbolic perspective, perhaps by putting up a flag on the wall of your reception area or having a festive sign outside your entrance, will help to make your business more inviting and cultivate positive brand association. These can all contribute to increased sales.

Be a Hopeless Romantic

Another day to consider for unique promotions in early 2018 is Valentine’s Day (February 14). Perhaps it would involve a friendly competition at your workplace or partnering with another local business. For example, in the lead up to Valentine’s Day, you could set up a raffle in your workplace for customers, with the winning prize being a gift voucher for a local boutique. Or alternatively, you could work with a local florist to sell bouquets of roses on your premises to customers. Such thoughtful seasonal offerings can help to fuel greater demand for your products and leave customers with a positive view of your business overall.

That said, Valentine’s Day shouldn’t just be restricted to flowers and dinners. For example, as an auto repair shop maybe you offer a free oil change or a promotion of new tires? It may not feel super romantic, but to some the option of keeping the people they love safe this winter could be a big draw!

Tap into Local Events and Celebrations

Don’t overlook local and regional events. Start by making a list of key local events throughout the year that matter most to your community, however weird and wonderful they may be. For example, in Austin, Texas, each April people of all ages dress up for a town celebration of the birthday party of Eeyore, Winnie the Pooh’s best friend. The more that you can show these esoteric, lighthearted occasions matter as much to your business as to customers, the better. As a local Doctor’s office in downtown Austin, perhaps you could offer prizes to customers wearing the best costumes. Maybe your front-of-house staff could dress up for the day to celebrate as well? These efforts will not be lost on your local customers and can help bind them to your business. Check out your local government and news websites to learn about any upcoming fun events in your area that your business can capitalize on.

In addition to these more unusual festivals and events, keeping tabs on local sporting events can also be effective. Again, this doesn’t have to necessarily be a direct product push, and could simply be decorating your office in the colors of your local team on match days, or buying a TV so that your customers can watch games. A little effort here can go a long way to increase revenues.

The early months of 2018 include plenty of seasonal opportunities to generate sales. Through strategic promotions, local partnerships and even simple swag to celebrate a national or local event, you can attract more customers to your business and show that you’re clued in on what matters most to your community. You can even celebrate milestones specific to your business, such as anniversaries of years in operation, to take pride in your achievements and appeal to a local audience. By curating sales pushes around these occasions, you can help to avoid the classic sales slump at the start of the calendar year and begin 2018 in fun, memorable and profitable ways.