Your business is probably still recovering from the impact quarantining and social distancing guidelines have had on your finances. However, 2020 has been a tough year for everyone, with a global pandemic and social unrest leaving society worn down and exhausted. As the holiday season approaches, you should be turning your attention to others.
Looking for ways to reach out and do good sets the tone for a successful 2021. Use some of the following ideas to promote the Christmas spirit and give back to your customers, employees, and the local community, after all, they’ve done for you:
1. Prepare Gift Baskets
You can always start small by providing little gifts for every customer who enters your doors. A simple gift basket with some goodies and gift cards will be a welcome surprise for every guest.
Doorbuster gifts will prompt customers to refer your business to their friends. You can even allow them to take an extra gift basket for them to give away themselves.
2. Hold a Contest
A holiday contest will spark some extra engagement as customers hope to win the big prize. You can offer raffle tickets with every purchase or appointment or double your charity efforts by taking donations in exchange for entry.
If you don’t want to leave too many people out, offer a variety of prizes. A small gift can be given to each participant, and/or tiers of gifts for different stages of winners. You can also get creative with your holiday contests so that everyone can participate fully.
3. Offer Discounts
A classic act of goodwill, cutting your regular prices for the holidays is a fantastic way to reach out to customers this time of year. This allows them to continue shopping with you while keeping their load of presents in the budget. Discounts will also bring some new customers through your doors to try your product out for the first time.
For the best results, offer discounts over a series of dates so that everyone can take advantage of the deal. Add the dates in your online calendar so you can plan in advance how to carry out the savings.
4. Volunteer Locally
Gather up your employees and look for a way to give back to your community. There are several organizations you can reach out to and events you can take part in. Whether it be helping out at a local soup kitchen or caroling at a senior center, a little volunteer work will go a long way, especially during COVID-19.
Add an event or two to your online calendar. Send the dates out to your employees so you can put together a good-sized crew in advance. Not only will you be giving back, but this will also be a great bonding opportunity for your team.
5. Put Together an Event
Not seeing any events near you to volunteer? Organize one yourself. Use your business site as a location for gathering donations, preparing some hot breakfast, or putting together care packages. You can even hold an event that provides free products and services from your business to less fortunate families.
Using your online calendar, choose a day when your event will have the most success. Put it on your website and post it where customers will be able to see it when they visit your store. The more, the merrier!
6. Say Thanks to Employees
Your company wouldn’t move forward if it weren’t for your hard-working employees. Most companies prioritize giving some Christmas cheer to their employees at the end of the year. However, after a long year such as this, they need more attention than ever.
Put together a company Christmas party to add to everyone’s online calendars. You can also start working on those Christmas bonuses or even come up with some personalized presents for every employee.
7. Participate in Secret Santa
Not all acts of service have to be public. You can do just as much and feel just as good by making donations in secret. Participating in a Secret Santa event is one way to do so.
There are organizations such as news stations that run these events every holiday season. They collect donations from anonymous individuals and companies to give to those in need. They’ll use their reach to find the neediest family and provide them with Christmas gifts that help them specifically.
8. Flood Social Media
Digital marketing should be an integral part of your business (if it’s not, start implementing it today). While you’ll often use social platforms and online reach to broadcast products and deals, you can use your position to flood social media with positive messages.
From your company to the world, share acts of goodwill from the community and words of inspiration for your followers who may have been affected by COVID-19 or 2020 in general. The positivity you share will be refreshing for your followers and customers browsing through social media through the holidays.
9. Focus on Family
It’s time to look outside of your business for a moment. Entrepreneurs and business owners dedicate a majority of their lives to their businesses and trades, accomplishing many great things. However, this holiday season, consider taking off some extra days from work.
A few extra days for your family is the perfect way to end the year. Through thick and thin, they’re always there for you, and the holiday season is meant for loved ones to be together. Your business and customers will understand your need to focus on family this year.
10. Reach Out to Neighbors
Whether they share office space, adjacent lots, or a gated community with you, neighbors are perfect targets for holiday giving. Bring over a plate of cookies or other holiday goodies. Even a small effort such as this will brighten their entire day.
While people typically reach out to residential neighbors, you can take it a step further by reaching out to business neighbors. Bring them all sorts of goodies and treats or even some free stuff from your own business as a thank you for being amiable neighbors through a difficult year.
Giving back this holiday season will make the season bright, chasing away the darkness that has been clouding 2020. In these final weeks of the year, you can change your entire outlook on this year and look forward to the next.
Hunter Meine is a BYU-Idaho graduate, husband, father, and writer. When he's not writing, he's playing sports or enjoying the outdoors with his wife and daughter.