In case you haven’t noticed, the summer is almost gone and in some areas of the nation, fall is upon us. And for local business owners, that means one thing: holiday shopping. In fact, for most small business owners, rely on holiday sales to get through the year, and Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year.
But if you’re a small business owner who relies on local business, you can’t wait until the last moment to get your share of the holiday sales. Here is a simple 3-step program that will help you cash in on as many holiday sales as you can this year.
Step One: Make Sure Holiday Shoppers can Find You
Today’s shoppers don’t look to old school methods of advertising like community newspapers or the Yellow Pages to find US local businesses. Instead, they look online, even when they want to find local business in their own neighborhoods. And that means, if you want to get your share of this year’s holiday’s sales, you will have to make sure new customers can find your business online.
And where do these shoppers look for local shops and restaurants? On local business directories.
Local business directories are smaller search engines that serve people who want to weed out all of the national results and articles about the topic and only see local businesses in the search engine results. Sites like FindUsLocal.com are changing the way consumers use the local directories because they have added even more features like the local news, a listing of local events, and it even allows business owners and consumers to leave comments about a shop, service business, or restaurant that is streamed live on the home page.
If you don’t already have a free local business listing, it’s easy to set up and only takes about ten minutes. Just go to FindUsLocal.com, search for your business using the custom search bar, then when you find it, claim it as the business owner and fill in the details.
Step Two: Plan Ahead for Your Local Advertising
You can’t wait until the last moment to plan for your Facebook and Instagram ads, because if you do, you’ll pay higher rates. Instead, make plans now for your holiday ads and reserve the ad space while prices are lower. In addition, if you plan to do any local marketing in print mediums, be sure to reserve that space now, too. You may decide to run an ad in your local newspaper, although be advised that most experts agree that online marketing efforts will reap a higher return.
Step Three: Design Your Ads
Once you’ve reserved the ad space, it’s time to start designing your ads. Whether you plan to design them yourself or hire someone to do it for you, time is of the essence. The sooner you get everything designed, the more you can concentrate of readying your store for the holidays by putting up Christmas decorations and new signage outdoors.
As you can see, even though it’s still September, you need to begin preparing for the holiday season. Don’t wait too long, because the earlier you begin to plan, the better holiday sales results you’ll see.