For some business owners the Christmas and New Year period is one of their busiest times, but for others it can be nervously slow.  So how do you ensure you generate as much income as possible through the holiday season? Here are four tried and tested tips to help you boost your downtime profits.

1. Have a special

Specials can be a great way to generate business though you do need to do it wisely. Not just to make sure you preserve as much of your profit margin as possible, but because discounting too much or having specials too regularly can make you seem desperate, and it can also make customers question your pricing and the value of your products and services.

So how do you not sound desperate? It's all in the way you market your sale. Your sale should be seen to be of a bigger benefit to your customers than to you. For example saying "Giving you/your business a Merry little Christmas with our ...% off sale" is far better than hinting or saying directly that business is slow or we need to move stock.   

2. Develop limited edition or "limited time only" products, services and packages

Never underestimate the power of limited edition or "limited time only" products, services and packages. Scarcity and competition can be great selling motivators. Build desire by making your limited products, services and packages attractive, full of value and of course, strictly limited.

3. Value add

Value adding can be a great way to increase sales and a good alternative to discounting, provided add-ons are valuable and relevant to your audience. Think about what bonuses you could add in to make your product or service a "must-have" in the eyes of your customers, and get them buying now and not later.

4. Do a little PR

While some of the more major publications have published their Christmas editions, there are still a number of opportunities around for some Christmas themed PR, particularly in publications that are local or published more frequently. Don't neglect blogs and large websites either as many of them will also do Christmas gift guides and features.

If you have a product or service that would make a good Christmas gift or you could do up some suggested gift ideas using a number of your products and services (like "Ten gifts your [mum/dad/partner/kids/pet] will love this Christmas") it's worth doing up a media release or quick editorial and sending it out. Also keep an eye on SourceBottle to monitor requests and opportunities.

If you don't have a product or service that would be considered a Christmas gift look at other different Christmas and New Year angles you could use. For example, a Financial Planner could share "[x] tips for spending within your means this Christmas" or an accountant could share "[x] tips to get your business fit for the New Year". Have a bit of fun and get a little creative in order to find ways you can piggyback of the holiday season.

What are you doing to boost your business through the downtime?

Amanda

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