If you are looking for last minute tactics to spur sales through the gift-giving season, check out these tips for retailers and service providers. Some of these ideas can carry you well into the new year, giving your business a jumpstart on first quarter revenue.

For Retail Businesses
  • Act like an Amazon—provide free shipping on returned items. This is a great example of going that extra mile for your customers that will keep them coming back for more, no matter the season.
  • Offer a discount before the end of the holiday season to preferred customers or those prospects who have opened recent emails from you. If you’re email system is not able to track who is opening your messages, this is the time to take out a trial to Vertical Response, Constant Contacts, MailChimp, just to name a few. These are your hot leads you should be pursuing.
  • Who has signed up for your newsletter or signed up to access your blog? These are the people to cultivate by offering them a special.
  • Plan now to launch a spring preview event in February. Let’s face it: Once Black Friday sales were extended beyond the day after Thanksgiving; and it has become the norm to see Xmas trees and decorations in November you have license to be as creative (and commercial) as you dare.  Start promoting Valentine’s Day specials in January…launch your own version of March Madness in February…find any number of little-known and fun celebrations all year round. What revenue-generating ideas come to mind when you hear of Random Acts of Kindness Day… National High Five Day…National Ice Cream Day…National Girlfriends Day. Check out a  wack calendar here: http://funupfactor.com/2015-holidays-list/.
  • It’s too late to piggyback on a Chamber of Commerce holiday event but a community-based organization (e.g., a non-profit organization) may welcome you as a late sponsor of a holiday event. Make sure you get visibility at the event with signage and product literature distribution.
For Service Businesses
  • Instead of discounting your services, create a value-add. Appeal to your client’s desire to get more value out of what he has already decided to spend with you. A free one-year warranty…free upgrade to next level of service…or create a gift card for your business.
  • For a limited time, offer additional services: If you are a consultant charging per hour, add two extra hours for free. Offer your client an additional service or discount if they bring you a new client.
  • Partner with non-competitive providers in your area to offer a package of services, redeemable throughout January.
  • If you are a brick and mortar business, swap counter space with a non-competitor to spread the word about your business and holiday offer.