You could make more money in the next few months that at any other time of the year.
And that doesn’t just apply to businesses selling gifts, either.
Christmas is the party season so we want to look good (health, fashion, beauty products), we want to entertain family and friends (food, party supplies, TVs and audio) and we want our houses to look great too (furniture, soft furnishings, DIY). Then at the end of it all we’re so exhausted we want to give ourselves little treats like a weekend away or a new iPod!
Many businesses need extra admin support during this busy time of year and that means more clients for virtual assistants, for example. So even if you’re not selling direct to the public, there are still opportunities for you to support those businesses that are.
True, people may be spending less since the credit crunch, but the run up to Christmas is still the best time in the year for maximising your profits.
Are YOU ready to take advantage of all that spending?
Here are five ways you can get yourself and your business in tip-top shape for the Christmas season:
Your marketing plan
Update your marketing plan to make sure you’re squeezing the absolute best from your time and budget. If you don’t already have a marketing plan, now is the time to get yourself one. It doesn’t have to be a long or complicated document, just some notes about what you’re going to be doing to promote your business on the run up to Christmas and how and when you’re going to do it.
Make sure all your efforts are working together in a strategy. Look at which marketing methods are working well for you and do more of them. Is it time you dropped a marketing method that isn’t very effective?
Are you charging enough?
How do you feel about your pricing? Do you feel confident when you name your price or do you drop your prices too easily? Are you charging less than you deserve for what you do? Take a look at what might be behind this. Does your confidence need a boost? Do you need to work on your selling skills? Are you in a very competitive area and need to find a way to stand out from the crowd?
Are you in control of your money?
Unless you know how much your costs add up to (and yes, that includes paying yourself for the time you work on or in your business) you can’t know how much you need to charge to break even. If you’re not breaking even – or don’t have a plan for how you’re going to get beyond break-even – your business is just an expensive hobby.
Having your financial facts at your fingertips makes it much easier to price your product or service, too.
Get better at following up
Are you telling potential customers all about you/your product but not actually asking them to buy? If so, you’re just warming them up for your competitors to come along and make the sale.
Following up could be as simple as making a phone call to see if they need any further information, explaining how you can solve their problem, then making the sale when the time is right. If they aren’t ready to commit right then, make sure you arrange to follow up again. Book a date for another meeting, ask if you can add them to your mailing list or ask if you can call them again next month.
Whatever you have planned, take it to the next level.
Going to a conference? Don’t just network with the delegates, get to know the speakers. Look at your branding: your logo, colour scheme, fonts, photo, business card, tagline, website, customer service, marketing materials and so on. Boosting the image that your business gives out to the world will improve the way people perceive your product/service and you may be able to charge more.
If you act like you’re running a little business just for fun, that’s how people will see you. You can think big even if you’re running a business part-time from home. It’s just a question of attitude!
Your customers are ready to spend their cash. Are you ready for them to spend it with YOU?
If you need help getting your business in shape for Christmas, get yourself a copy of the Earn What You Deserve as a Mumpreneur e-course. You can download it for just £24 if you buy it before 30th September (usual price £37).
photo credit: Karen Roe