Brown Pinecone on White Rectangular BoardEach year, it seems like the holidays come around quicker and quicker. And maybe this is true since stores, advertisements, and city streets seem to be breaking out the red and green earlier and earlier. Therefore, if you are treating your business the same way you procrastinate on your holiday shopping, then you are doing it wrong. The holiday season is the perfect time to ensure you have loyal customers coming back to you in the new year.

Between working on end-of-year-budgets, slowed responses from clients and vendors, and your own personal to-do list getting longer than Santa’s naughty list, focusing on marketing efforts and community outreach for your business seems like the last thing you need to be worried about. However, if you change a few simple things, you can have a quarter that’s successful for your business, while getting those magical, north pole fuzzies.

Think like you.

You probably wouldn’t want to receive an email, let alone open it, on Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve, so why would you do that to your customers? When setting up email campaigns, think of yourself as your ideal customer. After all, you believe in your product or service the most, and you want to attract quality customers. Pay attention to yourself over the next few days, and jot down times that you go on social media, read articles, and take breaks throughout the day. Then hit your customers with email blasts, awesome content posts on your website, and promotions at that time. Scheduling holiday campaigns out weeks in advance also allows you to finish your shopping and enjoy parties without worrying that you are neglecting your customers.

Give to others.

Show your customers who have purchased from you this year how much you appreciate them by sending them something in the mail. Consumers are inundated with holidays cards and offers via direct mail, so invest in a lumpy campaign. A lumpy campaign involves something that does not come in a conventional envelope. A small box of candy or ornament are cost efficient and make a big impact. Add in a coupon and a small holiday greeting in the box so they associate the holiday cheer with your company. If a big direct mailing is not in your budget, then send out holiday cards with a personalized letter updating the customer on the changes that occurred this year. A picture of your staff at a recent event is also a nice, personalized touch.

Do good.

Between community food drives for families in need and the Salvation Army bells, people love giving back at this time of year. This swell of charity also means customers want to stand behind businesses that do good because it is an extension of them giving personally. Commit to a local Thanksgiving food drive, holiday toy and clothing drive, or another nonprofit of your choosing and promote your staff having fun participating in it on social media and in your newsletter. It makes you feel good, it makes your customers feel good, and it does good for the community. That’s a three-way win!

Hint: If you get some great photos at the event, include them in your holiday card for that personalized touch that we were talking about above.

Get a jump start on your New Year’s resolutions.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane to December 31, 2014, shall we? This is when you started spewing out all the things that you wanted to get done in 2015. How many out of that list did you actually do? The most important thing about setting a goal is getting it done, so it’s not cheating if you start early. It’s smart. Also, it’s not too late to begin working on a resolution that you set for this year. Most people throw in the towel as the new year approaches, but be entrepreneurial and don’t give up.

Note: If writing a book was one of your resolutions or on your bucket list, don’t wait until 2016. Start here and now.

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