October is here and soon enough it will be the holiday season! Small business owners should have already thought about how to prepare for this very important season but if you haven’t, or need more ideas, here are 10 strategies that any small business can employ in order to increase holiday season income:

  1. Create gift bundles, baskets or tote bags stuffed and packaged with related product offerings for the shopper who wants to purchase a fast and ready-made gift.
  2. Take advantage of social media, create holiday content while offering incentives for special purchases. Promote contests with your customers by uploading pictures of certain events during the season; Halloween costumes, favorite holiday recipes, charitable events.
  3. Be prepared for showrooming, use this to your advantage once you have them in your store.
  4. Change up your website with holiday themes throughout the season while showcasing unique gifts or “what’s hot this year”. If you haven’t done it yet, look into e-commerce and get on the “Online Shopping” trend. Online shopping increased dramatically last year; year-over-year, it will surely increase again this year.
  5. Keep in mind that smart phones will be an important tool used by savvy shoppers, especially millennials and X’ers, therefore plan accordingly.
  6. Throw an “Open-House” party and invite customers, guests, and fellow businesses. Don’t want to do it by yourself? Collaborate with surrounding businesses or get the shopping center or business district to help organize and promote the event; it becomes a win-win for everyone!
  7. Restaurants and bars can create holiday-themed meals, desserts and drinks.
  8. Create theme areas throughout your store to attract different shoppers who have related interests; gifts for pets, gifts for children, gifts for her and gifts for him. Make it easy for those predatory shoppers who are looking for something easy and fast.
  9. Offer “Lay-Away” programs to make it easier for those who would like to make payments.
  10. Don’t forget gift cards! Easy to produce and not always used by consumers, studies indicate they are a very profitable offering.

During the holidays, people are in the mood to buy. So, make sure you are prepared, implement some of the ideas mentioned, and create an environment that is conducive to the season!