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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

10 Tips For Holiday Business Builders

The holiday season can mean a real slow down for home-based business owners, but only if you let it! With a holiday plan for business and some organization, you can keep your business thriving, and propel yourself into the New Year!

Here's how -

1. Do some follow up now with past contacts. Schedule a phone or face-to-face appointment to review your program or products. How might your products fill a need for your contacts or referrals during the holiday season? Brainstorm some ideas before the meeting.

2. Do you have a product or service that might be perfect for holiday gifts? Schedule some lunch time or afternoon showings for people to preview. Make gift suggestions and offer to gift wrap. Send out email greeting cards to remind people to buy from you! Think about gift baskets and corporate gift giving. This can develop some solid referrals and contacts for the future.

3. Offer a discount coupon to anyone who refers a friend who also purchases between now and the first of the year. Start a VIP purchasing program; or create a "punch card" for buy XX and get one free.

4. Begin setting appointments now for January. Let people know that you realize they are busy and suggest a date in January. Let them know you have time open now and would also love to offer them a date after the holidays.

5. Put yourself in power momentum by scheduling blocks of time daily for contacts and follow up. What is realistic each day? 5 of each? 10 of each? Set the pace and stick to it! Set your calendar up with blocks of business time as far out and consistently as possible.

6. Go on a mission to pass out as many flyers and business cards as humanly possible over the next month. As you do, have a 30 second "commercial" ready that may appeal to what they need right now. Extra cash for the holidays? Convenient and secure online shopping with no crowds, hassles or parking? Delivery? Get creative!

7. Going to a lot of holiday parties and events? Use this time to meet as many people as you can. Ask lots of questions and collect business cards and email addresses. Ask each person if they mind if you keep in touch with them. If they begin asking you questions, be prepared with short, intriguing answers. If they show an interest, schedule a time to contact them in the next few days. Try to avoid saying to much about your business at the party. Schedule, schedule, schedule and then be sure to follow up! And, if you have samples, bring them.

8. Include a business card, flyer, post card or some bit of "shameless promotion" in your holiday cards and correspondence. Don't send cards? Now you have a good reason to start! Check on that tax deduction! Don't be obnoxious; just share your enthusiasm.

9. Begin reviewing your past year's goals and accomplishments. Where can you improve? In what ways can you push yourself on to bigger and better next year? Have your next year's business plan concrete before January 1!

10. Keep your focus, remember CANI (constant and never ending improvement) and enjoy the season, knowing that you are doing and being the best you can be! Set big expectations and make them happen.

EXPECT Success!

Jackie Ulmer

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