Autumn is here! Is your business ready for the holidays?

The final stretch of the year has just presented itself, and this is a crucial time for businesses everywhere to prep up and get their game faces on. What’s great about the holidays is that even though small to mid-sized businesses have had a rough time during the first 3 quarters, they are still given the chance to make up for it for 3 more months. For them, it’s “make or break” time.

Okay, so there’s Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Whether or not you personally observe these occasions, you cannot deny the fact that as a business, you have to ride with the hype of the seasons. What are the things you need to do?

It’s time to face your customers

Not necessarily in a literal sense, though. What it means is that it’s the perfect time for you to reach out to your audience. The holidays are a great opportunity to initiate or maintain business relationships with prospects. It’s not just about the usual holiday discounts and promotions; engagement should be encouraged on a more personal level. Send out personal email newsletters (make sure it’s non-marketing in nature; for once, talk about them and the holidays). Don’t forget to thank loyal customers for sticking with you through the years. The bottom line is that you have to let them know that you are “with them” in celebrating these occasions.

Decorate your cyber presence

When it comes to special events, nothing is as flashy and colorful as social media. It’s the ultimate avenue for letting people know how your business would align itself with what’s going on in the community. First, look back at the activities you did during the same time last year, and identify which ones deserve to be retained or ditched. It is also important to start early on if you’re planning to host holiday campaigns on giant sites like Facebook or Twitter. Your prospects will not see how your colleagues would decorate your office for the holidays, but they could definitely see your website and social media profiles – and that’s where you need to work on.

Be careful with holiday messages

The worst thing a business could do is to tarnish the spirit of the holidays by pulling off a cheap, insensitive marketing tactic that aims to rake in money rather than to observe an occasion. People hate it when brands take advantage of them during these times, and although these gimmicks do increase your current sales, the damage is inflicted in the long-term reputation of your company. Show your heart to the people, and you’ll never need to exert so much effort in marketing.