Let’s Talk Business for November 17, 2023

Around the holidays, do you find yourself wondering how your business can stand out against large stores with huge marketing budgets and flashy loss leaders? How can the “little guy” capture local shoppers’ attention? The questions below can help you put your small business on track for big returns this holiday.

Business owners, ask yourself what unique holiday offerings your business provides. How are you helping your customers directly (like providing the perfect gift) or indirectly (like a time-saving house cleaning service)? Use that angle to focus on solving your customers’ problems or needs.

How will you enhance your customers’ holiday shopping experience? The longer they stay (in-person or online), the more they will buy. Are you effectively leveraging social media and other marketing channels to spotlight seasonal promotions?

You need loyal employees during the hectic holiday season. Include them, by asking:

  • How can we streamline our processes to handle increased holiday traffic?
  • What training or support do employees need to provide exceptional customer service during peak times?
  • Are there creative ways to boost team morale and motivation during the busy holiday season?

Educate yourself about holiday products or services your customers are most interested in, and challenge yourself to gather feedback from customers to improve their shopping experience. Traditional surveys can be tiresome; try something creative. Loyalty programs or exclusive deals show appreciation for your customers’ support.

Look at the wider community to enhance engagement. How might you collaborate with other local businesses to create a festive atmosphere in the community? Your local Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce can help match you with a solid partner. Are there charity partnerships or local events you can participate with to give back during the holiday season? How might your business showcase unique aspects of your community?

Address adaptability by asking yourself how you can adjust inventory and procedures to meet increased demand. Do you offer flexible payment options or gift card promotions to attract more customers? Many businesses give a bonus $10 gift card when customers make a $100 or larger purchase–a nice bonus for them and often more money spent for you. What strategies do you have in place for online sales and curbside pickup? As nice as it is to enjoy holiday lights and merriment, some people would rather avoid crowds and the difficulty of trying to find a parking space.

In the spirit of Small Business Season, let these questions serve as a compass for navigating the upcoming holiday rush. By proactively addressing these aspects of your business, you not only set the stage for a successful season but also contribute to the vibrant tapestry of your local community.

The Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce offers many resources to help you start, run, and grow your business–including our annual Leadership Emporia Academy, monthly Group Lunches, Ribbon Cuttings, Business After Hours events, Legislative Dialogues, and more. Stop by the Trusler Business Center at 719 Commercial St., call 620-342-1600, or visit our website at www.emporiakschamber.org to learn more.

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“Let’s Talk Business” is a weekly column of the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce and Visit Emporia. The mission of the Chamber is to be proactive in creating an environment for business and community success, guided by the vision that positive attitudes promote positive actions. Contact us at 620-342-1600 or chamber@emporiakschamber.org and visit our website at www.emporiakschamber.org.