Start the New Year Right [now].


Many of us have the mindset that December 26th begins the time to sit back and relax after the rush of the holiday season. As a small business owner, you know that is not an option. 5% or more of holiday spending occurs after Christmas.  Continue your holiday marketing plans through New Year’s Day as a new crowd of shoppers heads out during their holiday break to handle returns, spend gift cards, and look for bargains.  Here are 5 suggestions for how you can carry on the holiday cheer into the New Year and continue to build momentum into 2017.


1. Start now by asking for referrals & return visits

Take advantage of the increased traffic in December and offer your customers a reason to come back after the holidays. Announce specials or discounts for those who return in January and bring a friend, or consider “buy now, get something later” deals. These can work to your advantage in both December (buy a gift now, get something for yourself in January), and January (buy something in January, get something special later in the year).

 2. Plan (& market) a January sale

Customers will be expecting you to have a sale early in the New Year, especially if you’re in retail. Therefore you should be sure to have at least some items on special promotion during the month of January. Be unique with your offers or the items you choose to promote and consider what your customers are thinking about this time of year (organizing, health, fitness, and winter activities). Announce the sale in December by creative use of store signing, customer emails, or adding flyers to their shopping bags.  Additional social media posts during the month of January can reinforce the message and remind shoppers to visit your sale.

 3. Promote Gift Cards

Shoppers love gift cards and there is a lot to love for retailers as well. 72% of shoppers who redeem gift cards spend more than the card value (often up to 20% more!). Gift cards purchased in December will most likely be redeemed in January or February – right when you need it most. Consider offering a BOGO (buy one, get one) offer before the holidays or have the card be worth more to those who redeem before the end of February.

4. Introduce new products or services

A great way to entice customers into making a purchase during an off period is to offer them something new or unexpected. It could be something completely different or just an amended product or service that you already offer.

5. Don’t be tempted to cut back on marketing!

There is a tendency for small business owners to think about cutting back on marketing activities during slow periods. In fact, the end of holiday slump is one time of year in which you should consider shouting the loudest about your company. With consumer spending down, business owners need to fight even harder for every dollar spent.


Once the excitement and cheer of the holidays is over you can almost guarantee that your sales are going to slow down. Just because this early year dip in sales is expected doesn’t mean that you just have to sit back and accept it!  A little planning and marketing savvy now can bring big rewards in January. Spend some time thinking about innovative new ways to market your business in January and beyond to ensure a successful 2017.


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