December is often an exceptionally busy time for retailers and small business owners. The holiday demand for products can keep you just going, going, going until the holidays finally arrive and you’re left exhausted. Unfortunately, right after the holidays many business owners experience a slump in sales…unless they’ve planned ahead. Here are some tips to keep your business going strong right into January:

  • Use the holiday business to your advantage. Don’t just coast through the busy holiday selling season without planning ahead. Put a specific emphasis on the advantages your customers will experience by coming back to you in January. Talk it up! And be sure to make a list of all the things you can be doing with every customer to encourage them to shop with you in January, so you remember to tell your customers about them.
  • Make a list. While your customers are shopping with you during the holidays, be sure to gather their contact information, and get permission to contact them later. That way, you have a marketing mailing list you can take advantage of after the holidays are over.
  • Offer coupons and other incentives that can be used in January. Every customer that purchases from you, and hostesses that host for you, should receive a special coupon that offers additional discounts, gifts, or other offers for coming back in January. Make it a “just for you” offer that allows them to pamper themselves after taking care of everyone else during the holidays. But get your customers thinking beyond the holidays. People still need things in January. Make sure they think of your business when they need them.
  • Hold a post-holiday sale. Many retailers offer special post-holiday discounts on merchandise, and customers expect these. Think about a sale that your business can offer after the holidays, and give each customer a flyer or email reminding them about that sale.
  • Offer a January promotion related to weight loss, New Year’s Resolutions or self-improvement. One of the keys to successful marketing is talking about the things people are interested in. In January, there is always a huge emphasis on New Year’s resolutions and weight loss. think about ways your product line might fit into this. For example, if you sell candles, you might have a promotion that focuses on the resolution to make more time for your spouse (candlelight dinners, anyone?) If you sell skincare, craft a promotion that focuses on “New Year, New You” and teaches techniques for improving your skin or updating your look. If you sell cooking products, focus a promotion on healthy cooking techniques. No matter what you sell, there’s a way to tie it into what everyone is thinking about in the New Year. Create a promotion that takes advantage of this to build your business, and make sure your customers know about it now so they’re ready.

To keep your business income consistent, you need to focus on the activities that will keep customers coming back in January. By applying these tips, you’ll attract customers who are ready to shop for themselves.

What are you doing to build your January business now? Would love to read your thoughts in the comments below.