The holidays are rapidly approaching, and as business owners know, that means holiday cheer—and the potential for increased revenues.

Many retailers rake in a high proportion of their revenues during the holiday season. But how can you take an already good holiday cash flow to straight-up great?

  1. Have the right inventory. Make sure you’re following up on what’s been popular in 2015. What trends in tech or toys had major staying power? Stocking your store with popular items will help customers continue to see it as the place to shop. If a customer asks for an item you don’t have, see if it’s possible to order it in—it shows you’re willing to go the extra mile to make sure your customers have the gifts they need. [Ty–we could mention getting a loan to cover extra inventory here if you thought that was useful]
  1. Do a “12 Days of Christmas” promotion. Riffing on the popular poem, offer a special, 12-day email promotion where each day offers a new deal. This can get new customers on your email list, which you can continue to use into the new year. Email marketing is an affordable way to keep you on customers’ minds and will encourage them to check your store out for the gifts they’re looking for.
  1. Upsell as much as you can. If you run a bed and breakfast, suggest a romantic holiday getaway package instead of a regular room. If you manage a restaurant, offer appetizers and dessert to every patron. If you’re a retailer, offer gift-wrapping or small accessories in addition to their purchase. While you’ve got the customer in front of you, upselling can make a significant difference in your revenue.
  1. Celebrate the holidays on social media. Festive pictures of twinkling lights are easy “like” magnets. Design creative images to promote sales, instagram your staff in Santa hats, or tweet out pictures of your inventory under a Christmas tree to use holiday cheer to attract new customers. Social media marketing is an incredibly powerful way to attract clientele (especially to restaurants), and making your pages fun and festive can go a long way to helping customers buy from you in real life.
  1. Make sure your website is up-to-date and mobile friendly. Plenty of customers will now browse online before popping into a store to ensure they’re not wasting their time. Put in some hours as soon as you can updating your site with your newest goods and any special holiday sale information, and make sure it looks nice on a mobile phone, since that’s how most people browse the Internet. You can also use your website to offer links to your email list and social media, as well as promote any specials or deals you currently have.

The holidays are a fun, festive time—and they can also be fruitful. Incorporate some of these tips and tricks, and you’ll be feeling the cheer that comes from a bountiful holiday season!

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