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We are in the middle of the holiday shopping season. Owners of small businesses must promote aggressively if they want to attract buyers of goods and services.
Example: Carlos is a chef with his own restaurant. He regularly posts mouth-watering entrees and desserts on his Facebook page. He puts the word out that he has partnered with local farms to offer fresh, farm-to-table ingredients. He also puts the word out that he has arranged to have his own app so that people can order ahead and the meal is ready when they arrive. He partners with non-profit groups to hold fundraisers for them--especially attractive during the holiday season. It's a rat race, but it is working--Carlos is seeing a steady stream of new faces dining at his place. And they are referring others.
Example: Fran is a certified acupuncture expert. She sees more and more people looking for relief from stress, aches and pains, post-surgery concerns, and other ailments. To increase awareness, Fran brings in holistic practitioners for informational meetings, free demonstrations, question and answer sessions. This had led to more interest in acupuncture and a wider acceptance of its benefits. In addition, Fran is beginning to plan a full-fledged wellness center offering several holistic treatments. During the holiday season, she partners with non-profits to hold open houses and fundraisers.
Example: Guy runs a fitness center. During holiday seasons, people tend to have other things on their minds. To counteract this, Guy is bringing in experts in other fields to stoke interest and attendance. A hypnosis practitioner is set to hold sessions on weight reduction and stopping smoking. A nutritionist will be educating people on better eating habits. Guy is also sending out email reminders to his list of clients, reminding them not to skip fitness opportunities during holidays.
To attract more attention, retail businesses hold sales. In addition, hold open houses, offer a trunk sale, bring in a guitar player, set up talks by experts. How about offering apple cider and cookies?
Small business people are nothing if not creative. And hard-headed. And persistent. Remember to wave as you are sailing through the holidays.