When I was an employee I used to LOVE the Public Holidays when they came around. Rest, relaxation, beach fun, sleep, do nothing… aaahhhh!
However when I first became a business owner, holidays were stressful for me and became a time to either catch up with client work or a time when I didn’t earn any money!
I used to dread holidays because I only had one business model and that was, working one-on-one with clients. The worst number in business is ‘1’. One supplier! One customer! One business model! One of “YOU”! There are all problems waiting to happen!
What that meant for me was that if I wasn’t seeing clients or out getting contracts, money wasn’t flowing in to my business or my bank account!
After years of working like this, I have successfully changed my business model to incorporate many different ways of working with clients and many different business models so that holidays or not, money or requests for my services are always coming in.
I now use holidays to my business advantage.
So my friend, my question for you is this. How are you using holidays to your advantage?
Here are a few ways you can use holidays to grow your business, whether you’re a service-provider or in retail:
1. Time your promotions or sales around the holidays. Have an Easter or a Christmas sale or a Father’s Day Appreciation Day (for dads, of course!). Years ago I used the date of incorporation of my business (I call it my business birthday ) to give clients 50% off their retainer fee.
2. Send out press releases to the media (both offline and online) to promote your business close to a holiday. Remember that press releases should not be promotional. They should have something of value for the reader or they will not be published.
3. If you have a team that works with you, create a staff-appreciation day or a staff retreat on the holiday. Trust me. Keeping your staff happy is one of the keys to a successful business. Staff can make or break your business!
4. Change your business model or incorporate 1-3 other business models so that your revenue stream doesn’t stop when your business is on holiday. (Here’s the big tip: use the internet. It never sleeps! Customers can purchase your goods or services at any time via this medium.)
5. Send out holiday cards or gifts to your most loyal customers. Remember customers are the lifeblood of any business. No customers=No business. (Gifts baskets are a great gift for clients and customers. They’re full of goodies and customers love them!)
6. Use a holiday to have your own Business Development Day. I use Fridays for my business development where I work ON my business: planning my revenue, looking at my cash flow for the previous week and forecasts for the upcoming week, reading books on successful entrepreneurs (this week it’s “Think Big” by Donald Trump and “Secrets of the Millionaire Mind” by T. Harv Eker) and so on…
7. Relax and have fun with the family! I purposely put this at the end, because I know you can’t turn off a business-owners’ busy mind. So once you have some of the above ideas in place (i.e. # 1-6) you’ll definitely have more peace of mind and will definitely be able to enjoy your holiday.
Sandra Baptist is Founder of the Caribbean Small Business Ecademy ( [http://www.caribbeansmallbusinessecademy.com] ), a virtual academy that helps Caribbean service professionals and small business owners make more money.
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