Coolest Small Businesses In Seattle - Business Insider

Small Local Business IDEAS

Small Business Ideas / August 13, 2017

Rieva LesonskySmall Business Saturday is over, but it’s not the only opportunity for local small businesses to capture customers’ dollars this holiday season. Whether you’re a retailer, restaurateur or own a service business such as a hair salon, there are plenty of opportunities to market your biz for holidays. Here are 22 ideas to get you started.

  1. Check in with last year’s customers. Who bought from your business during the 2015 holiday shopping season? Reach out to them with email marketing messages, special offers or direct mail pieces. This is a great tactic for service businesses who sell services needed annually, such as carpet cleaning or HVAC servicing.
  2. Partner with other businesses near you to host a holiday shopping event, such as a sidewalk sale. Restaurants can sell small portions of their menu items to attract even more traffic.
  3. Hold a contest or raffle. This is a great way to get customers involved with your business and increase foot traffic.
  4. Team up with another local business and offer discounts for people who have a receipt from your partner store (and vice versa). You can make it a complementary business (such as a toy store and a children's clothing boutique) or just base the partnership on proximity (such as a restaurant next to a movie theater).
  5. Add entertainment to your store. Take it one step beyond holiday decor and music by actually hosting musicians, storytellers, face painters or magicians—whatever makes sense for your business. Promote the performance online and with outside signage to attract passersby.
  6. Display art from local artists on your walls (and let customers buy it). You can change the offerings every few weeks to keep it fresh. Have an art opening with invitations and refreshments whenever you add a new artist.
  7. Create a photo op. Get creative with holiday photos with Santa. They’re not just for kids: Set up a time for pets to have their photos taken too. Don’t have room for Santa photos in your location? Team up with other local businesses and your Chamber of Commerce and find a space nearby that can host Santa (and drive traffic to your businesses in the process). For example, on one retail shopping street near me, Santa greets children in front of a local bank every year.
  8. Teach your customers how to do something holiday-related. Holiday crafts, a gift wrap clinic, or lessons in cooking a special holiday dish are all ideas for holiday how-tos.
  9. Hold special holiday hours. Your customers have busy lives, and you're competing with e-commerce...