The success of Small Business Saturday proves that we’re (finally) showing the love to all the great indie retailers/makers in our communities and supporting their endeavors with our hard-earned cash. You’ve got people interested--it’s the holiday season and we’re ready to buy! Great selling opportunities abound, new customers are popping up left & right, and time is running a bit short.
Are you making the most out of every selling opportunity? Let's make indies the clear choice this holiday season with these three tips:
Tip #1: Make it a group effort. Get a group of indies in your region together and host a shopping event! Have food, drinks, a little entertainment, and create a festive party that lets attendees get all their holiday shopping done while sipping a cocktail. Sure beats waiting in line at the mall, no?
Plus, there's a bonus: Organizing these types of events is a great way to meet like-minded entrepreneurs in your area & create solid collaborative partnerships. Another bonus: If you’ve got 20 indies participating in the event, you’ve got 20 different outlets to market to, and there’s a huge opportunity to cross-pollinate and get your work in front of new audiences.
Which leads me to my next tip...
Tip #2: Look for cross-selling opportunities or complementary products. In the giving season, it’s really important that you’re selling items that are instantly giftable...meaning: I could buy it, throw it in a gift bag, and take it wherever I’m going. What does that mean? Really, just look at what you have & figure out what would make it BETTER. Do you make ceramics (bowls, mugs, etc.)? Think about partnering with someone who sells artisan coffees & create the perfect gift. If you make a great line of lip balms, find someone who makes soaps & bath products to create gift sets that are way better than anything you can buy at the mall. Be creative--find new ways to get potential customers interested in your products.
Tip #3: There’s more than one type of shopper. Lots of people shop during their lunch break--could you run a 11-2pm promo geared towards those shoppers? Do you live near a business district? These busy people need to get their holiday shopping done, too. How about a 5 o’clock shopping event that lets them de-stress from the workday and enjoy a little shopping on their way home?
Also--think about your fellow retailers. This is the busiest, most stressful time of year, and the last thing anyone wants to do is go shopping. How can you gear a promotion towards them? You certainly don’t have to run a ton of different promos during the season, but my point here is to get you thinking a little outside the box.
And that’s a good thing! Here’s to your success and a stellar holiday season!
Megan Gallagher is a small-business strategist working with creative indiepreneurs at Method & Madness. She talks business development, creative vision, and indie lifestyle through one-on-one strategy sessions, e-guides, and the Method & Madness blog.