With Halloween behind us and the temperatures dropping, there is no denying that Christmas and the holiday season will be upon us before we know it.
Although it might seem like most Christmas preparations concern personal and family life (after all Christmas shopping has got to be the most stressful thing for all of us, right?), don’t forget to stop and think about what Christmas means for your business. What has 2016 been like for your business? What and, more importantly, who has helped you achieve your goals? How are you going to thank your customers and clients? How are you going to make sure that you are top of their mind as 2017 starts? Here are a few tips to get your business Christmas and New Year ready.
1/ Branded greeting card
The first thing to do, I urge you, is to have a branded greeting card done. Pick a holiday card that reflects your brand and if possible, has your logo, address and other details on it. Give yourself plenty of time to do this as it might take some time to decide what you want (especially if you work in a team) and execute. Bear in mind a card typically has to be designed, printed, delivered to you, written in, stuffed in envelopes and then posted of again. It’s a time consuming little tradition but it is so key to show your clients that you are thinking of them at this time of the year.
If you can afford to spend a bit of money on this, it’s well worth having a greeting card designed especially for you. You really want to stand out and the best way to do that is to make sure yours is the beautiful greeting card that your customer decides to keep on their mantelpiece. If it can be striking and also communicate who you are and what you do, then it’s a winner! If your budget it tight this year, there are lots of wonderful greeting cards to be purchased online. I especially love Etsy for finding unique items that aren’t too pricey. With some vendors you might even be able to add your logo to their design.
2/ Hand write notes
Once you have your beautiful greeting cards in hand, it is now time to write in them. Resist the temptation of having a “one size fits all” approach and writing a generic greeting to all. It will really make a difference if you take the time and hand write a little note to your clients. You don’t need to write something unique and personal to every single customer, but to the ones who matter, make sure you write them something special. Try to think of who they are, what makes them tick, what their children are called … a little detail like that can make a big difference. They will feel touched that you know and remember them so well. That special handwritten note will be another reason your card makes it to the mantelpiece and not straight in the garbage.
3/ Market report
Depending on the nature of your business, the end of the calendar year is also a great time to look back at your industry and reflect on what happened, what’s new and what difference that makes for your customer. It’s a great time to dream up an information based report where you offer your clients insights in the world of ________ (fill in blank with your industry name). I have a real estate agent customer who writes up careful reports at the end of each calendar year for her clients, explaining what the real estate market in their city is like and what impact that has on them. It’s such a great way of keeping in touch with them, whilst subtely showing them that it could be a good time to upgrade their house. Whether you are a florist giving your top tips for floral arrangements this Christmas, or an accountant reviewing what changes in tax 2016 has seen, it’s hard to imagine an industry in which its customer wouldn’t benefit from a little report around Christmas time. And again, to make sure they pin it on the fridge and don’t throw it out immediately, make sure it looks the part.
4/ New Year offers
Now that you have spent time looking back on the year with your market report, also spend the time looking forward at the year ahead. What can you offer your clients this New Year ? A special deal to ease their way into January ? A winter special to escape the dread of the colder months ? Think of the offers and special promotions that you and your clients could benefit from, as a New Year beckons. Have great brochures and flyers made, that show off your fantastic offer in the best light. Build the momentum around your offer by boosting it online and on social media. There is nothing like a bit of marketing enthusiasm to help you get back into the swing of things after the holidays, the turkey, the gifts and the one-too-many chocolates.
If ever you are stumbling on this post on the 5th of January and you are thinking you really have let the side down by forgetting Christmas cards and hand written notes this year, there is still hope for you. We once had a mortgage broker, who didn’t do anything for Christmas or the end of the year holidays, but a few months later, dropped off a great gift of a pie from the local farmers’ market with a well thought out note. I hadn’t stopped to think at Christmas time that we hadn’t heard from him. After all, life gets so busy and I wasn’t expecting anything … But his little gift a few months later was a real hit that I still remember well enough to write about today. In fact you might even make a conscious choice to forgo the holiday antics altogether and celebrate your clients at another time of the year …
Whether you go for Christmas cards, market reports, brochures or gifts, make sure you offer good quality designs and products that reflect who you are and matches the excellence you strive for in your business. Be creative and think outside the box on how you can treat your customers this Christmas. Have a great idea others would benefit from? Give us your tips in the comments below.