This time of year, the focus is primarily on retail businesses. Most articles you read either in the news or on blogs like this revolve around the successes and challenges faced by department stores, outlets, or Mom and Pop shops. Do you feel like your service-based business is being lost in the shuffle?
If you’re running a service-based business such as a travel agency, law firm, utility services company, home cleaning operation, or even medical services business, you too can take advantage of the holiday shopping season. Retail stores aren’t the only businesses with the power to offer special discounts, coupons, and promotions. After all, a gift certificate for services at your travel agency could make for the perfect gift!
We’re here to help you put your service-based business on the map this season. Use the seven tips below as your starting point and see how bring your business can shine.
Table of Contents
- Host a Holiday Event
- Use Email Marketing for Sales & Promotions
- Partner with a Local Retailer
- Build Holiday Bundles
- Volunteer in Your Community
- Offer Gift Cards or Certificates
- Thank Your Employees, Customers, and Partners
TIP ONE: Host a Holiday Event
A great way to get your business name out there and build relationships with leads and customers is by hosting a holiday event. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive or elaborate – just a simple way to get customers in the door of your business. Try marketing your event in the local newspaper or other publication to reach as many people as possible. We also recommend using social media to market your event and help spread the word. Here are some ideas for types of holiday events:
- Hot cocoa bar
- Build-your-own gingerbread house
- Holiday cocktail hour
- Cookie decorating event
- Holiday food or coat donation drive
- Ugly sweater contest
TIP TWO: Use Email Marketing for Sales & Promotions
There’s no doubt that your customers are receiving many emails each day from their favorite retailers. While you don’t want to flood their inbox, you should create a solid email marketing strategy to share holiday promotions or sales with your subscribers. Follow the lead of retailers and get creative with your content! If you are offering a holiday discount promotion for your utility services business, use creative holiday-themed phrases or content to grab attention. Your team could write a blog post on “ways to reduce electricity costs during the holiday season” or promote your services with a holiday theme such as “Keep the Season Merry and Bright”. It’s all about what will resonate with your customers. As an example, FirstEnergy, an electric corporation in Ohio, engages its customers by holding an outdoor holiday light contest.
TIP THREE: Partner with a Local Retailer
Developing a business partnership with a local retailer is a great way to reach potential customers during the holidays. Let’s imagine for a moment that you own a home cleaning business. Most people are out and about shopping for gifts or decorations, and probably aren’t thinking about your services. However, if you partner with a local home décor store, candle maker, or finely crafted rug store, shoppers may notice your business. Consider asking your retail partner to include a brochure for your business with each customer’s receipt. In return, you can offer to include a coupon or other promotional material for their business with your customers’ invoices.
TIP FOUR: Build Holiday Bundles
Everyone loves a good deal, but they especially appreciate a great value. Give your customers a valuable holiday opportunity by building holiday bundles for your services. For example, if your services are typically offered in 10-hour blocks, offer a holiday special allowing your subscribers to purchase a 20-hour block. If you’re running a home cleaning business, create a special holiday cleaning bundle that offers multiple services at a discounted rate. This is a great way to help busy homeowners prepare for their big holiday party!
TIP FIVE: Volunteer in Your Community
Take your team out of the office for a day to volunteer in your community. During this season of giving, it is important to give back what we can to those who need it. When there is a lull in customer traffic, close your doors for the day and take your team out to serve at your local food bank, homeless shelter, nursing home, or other charitable organization. You never know who you will meet and what connections you may make. Plus, current customers may recognize your contribution and choose to support your business because of it.
TIP SIX: Offer Gift Cards or Certificates
You don’t have to be a retailer to offer gift cards. In fact, gift cards or certificates will be ideal for your service-based business this season because they give your customers the ability to present a tangible gift for your intangible services. Depending on the nature of your business, an online certificate may be the best option for you. However, if you are interested in a custom, physical gift card solution, we should talk! Our creative team specializes in designing unique cards specific to your business that will grab customer attention during the holiday season and beyond. Contact us today to learn more.
TIP SEVEN: Thank Your Employees, Customers, and Partners
End the year on a positive note and let your supporters know how much you appreciate them. You can do this through personal holiday letters, cards, or even by sending a box of cookies or small bouquet of flowers. This is a great way to not only share your gratitude, but also reconnect with those customers who you may not have seen since the beginning of the year. It brings your business back to the top of their mind and may inspire them to make another appointment.
We hope you find these tips helpful as you navigate the holiday season. Remember, you don’t have to be a retail business to benefit from the holiday shopping season. Use these tips as a starting point and see what creative ideas your team can come up with to help increase profits and finish the year out strong.