Did you realize that Christmas is only 58 days away? Now is the time to start planning for the holiday rush! Are you thinking that it is still to early? I hope not. If you haven’t already started to stock your shelves or online stores with Holiday themed items then you are going to fall behind quickly. Customers are starting to get ready to shop early because they are not sure how their finances will be around the holidays and they don’t want to be in a jam.So to help you get a move on with things, here are 8 holiday business suggestions that you could put on your to do list for October:8 Get Ready For the Holiday Tips: Starting TodayAdvertising Plan: Start your advertising plan now. If you have an online store start thinking about advertising on Google using their AdWords campaigns. I know some website owners think that this is a waste of time and money but if you choose the right campaign keywords words and not focus on keywords words that are too broad like: baby clothing or dog collars and try focusing more on targeted keyword phrases like: pink baby clothing for girls or dog collars for small dogs, you will be more likely to convert those clicks to sell.If you owner a brick and mortar store think about doing a giveaway and advertise in your local newspaper. Try saying that “Our __________ store is holding a holiday giveaway. We are giving away $10.00 gift cards to the first 50 customers etc.” Customers love free gifts and coupons, especially around the holiday. They could use that Gift Card towards a purchase at your store. Why not give away customer reward punch hole cards? Give them $10.00 off their purchase along with a free gift if they purchase 5 or more items.Sell on eBay: You may have heard the Good, the Bad and the Ugly about eBay. The truth is you may need eBay for the holiday seasons. They receive tons of traffic each month, this is a great way to attract new buyers. eBay is a great way to sell your products for the holiday, especially those products that you have been wanting to get rid of from last years holiday inventory purchases. Consider opening an eBay store just for the next couple of months or auction off your products starting in November. If you sell your products via eBay, make sure to include a card inside each shipment with your business address or website address and maybe a discount gift card for a percentage off their next purchase with you.
Start working on your search engine optimization plan: If you haven’t thought about optimizing your website now is the perfect time. You want to start your optimization efforts now because it can take months for you to start appearing in the search engine result pages, especially new websites. If you target the right keyword phrases you could possibly show up on the first couple of pages within a month.Look over your website and determine which areas of your website are the weakest. You can sometimes determine this by checking each pages Page Rank. If your pages don’t have a PR at all, then you need to write that page down as needing some optimization. Start researching keyword phrases that go with the products that you offer on your site. Buyers are shopping early now and the whole point of you having a website is to attract buyers and get the most traffic possible for your niche.Consider hiring a search engine optimization specialist. Search engine optimization specialist have the right tools needed to optimize your site correctly. Sure you can do this yourself, but you want to make sure you have done your research on SEO, you don’t want to find yourself removed from the search engines by a possible violation that you were not aware of.Start your email campaign now!: Why not work on your email template for the holidays. Do you know how to design them yourself? Do you have an email management company? Do you have an email sign up form on your website? These are all the questions you need to be asking yourself. Pick out your color theme, figure out what type of incentives you are going to offer. You can start now with having a “Sign Up for our Newsletter and Receive 10%” incentive on your website. That way you can gather new customers now and send out your holiday emails to them throughout the remainder of the year.If you don’t have an email management company, you can try out the ones listed below. They both allow you to pay as you go and they both have Free Trial Periods.iContactVerticalResponseResearch: Now is the perfect time to start researching the hottest selling products in your niche. Pay attention to T.V. and magazines. Check out the latest trends and stock up on them now. Don’t wait until the last moment to purchase a popular items. I can assure you that manufacturers will most likely be Sold Out of that product.If you are an online business and work closely with dropshippers. My advice would be to not rely on dropshipping companies for seasonal products unless they update their websites on an hourly basis. Holiday products tend to sell out very quickly and you may receive a purchase for an holiday product and go to place an order with the company to find out that they are out of stock. Not only will you have to scramble to find the product for your client but if you don’t find it, you will ultimately have to refund your clients money and explain that they item is no longer available. You take the risk of ruining your reputation too! That customer may have wanted that particular item for a gift and now they are upset and you may have lost a potential repeat client.
Store Display: Whether online or in a brick mortar, think about your holiday display. Are you going to do a window display? If so, which products are you going to display. If you online, are you going to change your website theme to match the holidays? These are things that need to be determined now.Holiday Website TemplatesHire Extra Help – Do you have enough people assisting you in your store or someone to help you out with your online sales? If not, this is the perfect time to consider hiring some extra help. You can hire someone to help you with emails during the next couple of months so you can focus on getting your holiday inventory in order or your window display set up. Hire someone to add your holiday products to your website, especially if you have a ton of holiday themed products that you will be selling over the next couple of months. Product Addition can be a tedious task and definitely time consuming.Think about hiring a cousin, friend or neighbor who will be home from college during the holiday season and who will be more than happy to assist you during the holiday rush.Get Shipping Ready – Find out when the last date for guaranteed shipping will be for the holidays so you can post this message on your site. Sometimes you can ship up to a week before the holidays and be able to guarantee that their product will be there before the holiday. This way you will also know when to stop accepting holiday orders.If you do these things now, you’ll be in great shape for the holiday season!
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