Retailers Push Back Holiday Sales Into Thanksgiving

It’s no secret that big retailers continue to push back the beginning of the holiday shopping season. Small businesses of all kinds are considering how to grab more holiday sales. As shoppers head to the stores even earlier this year, think about how you plan to capitalize on holiday shopping trends, no matter what business you happen to be in or whether you operate your business online or in a brick and mortar store. Here are some thoughts on managing your company this holiday season.

Seasonal Sales

Open door policy. Target is the latest big retailer to up the ante heading into the holiday shopping season that traditionally begins with Black Friday. Target joins other big retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., in efforts to expand what is already a two day kickoff filled with special holiday offers. Target will open at 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving, three hours earlier than last year, but of course opening early isn’t the only way to take advantage of holiday opportunities.

Join the conversation. If you’d like to learn more about preparing your business for the holiday season, please remember to join Small Business Trends founder and CEO Anita Campbell, today at 8 p.m. ET for our “Twitter Chat: Get Your Business Prepared for the Holidays.” Join the conversation on Twitter at #SMBHolidayPrep or follow Anita @smallbiztrends and get the opportunity to win a $25 gift card, courtesy of FedEx Office, sponsor of the FedEx Office Tweet Chat program. Small Business Trends

Merry Marketing

The store that never closes. Of course, if you operate an e-commerce store, you don’t have to worry about opening your doors early for the holiday season. You operate a business open 24/7/365 days a year. Still, there are plenty of ideas you may want to consider to market your products and services at this special time of year and peak shopping season. Here blogger Elizabeth Joss offers us “50 Awesome Marketing Ideas for E-commerce Stores This Festive Season.” Share additional thoughts and ideas in our comment section below. Xcellent Media

Let’s make a deal. You’ll certainly generate more profits this holiday season by providing special offers to capture the interest of holiday shoppers, blogs Diana Pohly. Consider what products or services you should make special offers on and how you should effectively promote these offers to customers, so that you are sure to get the extra sales for which you are hoping. In this post, Pohly offers some factors to help you decide what offers will give you the best results during the holiday season. Step by Step Marketing

Evergreen Entrepreneurship

Card carrying consumers. Gift cards are a great way to promote your business during the holiday season. Here guest blogger Laura Brentley gives some thoughts on how to go about using them to make the most of seasonal shopping, and how to measure the effectiveness of their use. She also shares some of the benefits of using gift cards to grow your business over time. Small Biz Diamonds

How low can you go? When setting prices and making special offers for the holidays, it may be interesting to note that some of the biggest chains aren’t reducing their prices nearly as much as the Black Friday hype might lead you to believe, according to Gilon Miller, Chief Marketing Officer at Upstream Commerce, who has studied the issue closely. Don’t believe for a moment you can’t offer customers better deals than the big guys! BuyerZone

Busy work. There is also the matter of how you handle the stress of the holiday season as a small business person. Demands on your time are likely increasing, both from your business and from family and friends. Learn to manage these issues before they manage you by setting boundaries between work and personal time and deciding on your priorities early, suggests entrepreneur Dawn Berryman. You will have to learn to be tough and to sometimes say ‘no’ to make sure you stay in control during this hectic time. Good luck! The Work At Home Woman