#BizChats Reveals Must-Have Holiday Business Tips for Entrepreneurs, Part 2

The Profit Goddess Logo Image with Money Bag and Pencil

150+ Holiday Business Tips from Mashable's #BizChats Question 4 Image

Question Four: What are unique ways businesses can show customer appreciation to drive loyalty during the holidays?

Doug and Polly White @letgotogrow
A4 Businesses that give part of their profits to charity show true holiday spirit #BizChats

Our local mall is pet friendly and has parades and events that involve pets and owners – they get a lot of traffic #BizChats

Polly loves to have a glass of bubbly while shopping – helps her to spend more! #BizChats

CoffeeMomRAS070 Implementing a return customer or frequent buyer rewards program! #BizChats

Mari Smith @MariSmith
A4: Run a sweepstakes on your social channels with tell-a-friend element. Include Leaderboards & spotlight fans, winners. #bizchats

Incentivize customers with a special gift when they come in to your store and check in on Facebook. #bizchats

Invite Facebook fans to private message on your page for special gifts, service. #bizchats

Here's a great Facebook app for running sweepstakes http://bit.ly/1LndgTR  - viral sharing, leaderboard elements. #bizchats

Marley Majcher @ThePartyGoddess
A4 When you leave them a vmail to say thanks, you can do the "oh by the way..." stop in to see our new ... #bizchats

Leave your customer a live voice mail just checking in to say thx. Picking up the phone is such a great sales strategy! #bizchats

Tellem Grody PR @tellemgrodypr
A4: how about a VIP customer holiday reception at your store? #BizChats

Mailjet @mailjet A4: Handwritten notes are always awesome. #Biz can also take the @ProductHunt route and send surprise brand items! #bizchats

Jennifer Baker @JenniferBakerCo
A4: Reward loyal social followers with discounts and special offers. #BizChats

Matthew Toren @matthewtoren
A4: Think of some unique logo'd swag items that your customers will love. #koozies #ultraSoftTshirt #bizchats

Hand-written personal and friendly customer appreciation notes on holiday cards (not the canned ones!) go a long way! #BizChats

Martin Jones @martinjonesaz A4. One great way a business can show customer appreciation during the holidays is a personalized, handwritten note inside a card #BizChats

150+ Holiday Business Tips from Mashable's #BizChats Featured Image

Marley Majcher @ThePartyGoddess
Marley Majcher Retweeted Martin Jones
A4 Huge b/c no one does them anymore. Imagine a handwritten envelope arriving! Never! #bizchats @mashbusiness
Marley Majcher added

Amy Jo Martin @AmyJoMartin
Q4: Humans connect with humans, not logos. Have ALL employees, including execs, take turns responding to consumers. Ex: @Zappos #BizChats

Brenden Dilley @Hublife
A4 Nothing. NOTHING says "we appreciate you" like deep discounts and or free stuff. It's all about value. #BizChats

Maureen Jann @MaureenOnPoint
A4: Delight is so core to a successful holiday season. Plan to add a gift, beautiful packaging, fantastic customer svc. #bizchats

Erin Blaskie @ErinBlaskie
A4: surprise customers w/ free gift wrapping. Offer discounts for loyal customers. Free shipping for repeat biz. #BizChats

150+ Holiday Business Tips from Mashable's #BizChats Question 5 ImageQuestion Five: What are shipping and handling stressors that businesses should aim to improve during the holiday season

A5: Know shipping charges! It's important to you as the biz owner not incur more charges,just as it is the customer. #BizChats

Preventing damage and double-checking the order list! Nothing worse than receiving broken or wrong goods! #BizChats

Marley Majcher @ThePartyGoddess
A5 What ISN’T a stressor @ shipping? 🙂 Tips:Don't make it an afterthought &have a dedicated area w/ extra supplies #bizchats

Matthew Toren @matthewtoren
A5: 28% of shoppers will abandon their shopping cart if presented with unexpected shipping costs. #BizChats

Be explicit and very upfront about your shipping charges. #BizChats

Mari Smith @MariSmith
A5: If a customer orders too late for Christmas Eve delivery, CALL them up and talk through alternatives! Woa! #bizchats

Under promise and over deliver! Surprise and delight. Call customers to check on delivery of items. #bizchats

For fragile items, add EXTRA packing materials. Nothing worse than broken item arriving in the mail! #bizchats

Strongly encourage EARLY ordering for guaranteed pre-Holiday delivery. #bizchats

Mailjet @mailjet
A5: Being realistic with shipping dates and having contingency plans in order in case something becomes a hot item. #bizchats

150+ Holiday Business Tips from Mashable's #BizChats Featured Image

Doug and Polly White @letgotogrow
A5 Make sure you staff correctly which may mean changing your employees’ hours, i.e. coming in later and leaving later #BizChats

Make sure you are clear about the last day orders can be placed to be received by the 24th #BizChats

Picatic Toronto @PicaticTO
A5: Give extremely conservative but accurate shipping windows so that your customer is never disappointed with a delay. #bizchats

Suzan A Abdurrahman @Suzans411
A5: Free shipping on all purchases Guaranteed delivery by Christmas Eve #BizChats

Erin Blaskie @ErinBlaskie
A5: for small businesses, cost. For all businesses, speed. Don't promise a timeline you can't realistically achieve. #BizChats

Martin Jones @martinjonesaz
A5. Small business can't discount the benefit of free shipping for holiday shoppers. Why? 42% are actively looking for it. #BizChats

Maureen Jann @MaureenOnPoint
A5: I can only answer this one from a consumer perspective: MANAGE EXPECTATIONS. Do not, under any circumstances, disappoint me. #BizChats

Brenden Dilley @Hublife
A5 Don't over promise and under deliver on delivery dates. You're better off setting up realistic expectations for customers. #BizChats

150+ Holiday Business Tips from Mashable's #BizChats Question 6 ImageQuestion Six: What considerations should small businesses take when looking to upgrade technology in the new year?

Marley Majcher @ThePartyGoddess A6 Remember: upgrading tech always costs more, takes longer & is an even more of a giant pain in the rump than it first appears #BizChats

What kind of training on the front end 2get everyone on board and then 2maintain the system&guide them through the process? #BizChats

Determine how many people do you need to get on board and how tech savvy they are. #BizChats

Brainstorm your co's biggest pain points w/ your team & gen ideas 2solve them. Pick the 1 that delivers biggest bang/buck #bizchats

Suzan A Abdurrahman @Suzans411 A6: Upgrade tech because after reviewing and demo you know the benefits and ROI of adding it to your mix. #BizChats

Picatic Toronto @PicaticTO A6 Hardware: rent? Is this a long term investment? Repair costs? May I test ? Do I know of any other businesses using this tech? #BizChats

Neil Blockley @NeilBlockley A6 what competitive advantages, time or cost savings will the investment realise? How does it align with biz vision? #bizchats

Mari Smith @MariSmith A6: Identify where the stress points & tech hiccups have occurred this year. Research solutions to fix. #BizChats

150+ Holiday Business Tips from Mashable's #BizChats Featured Image

Ideally, don't implement new tech until you and your team have carved out time to LEARN it first. #BizChats

Critical to have a proper email management system in place. So many choices, @MailChimp, @aweber, @ConstantContact #BizChats

Stacy @TeacherStacyH A6 Don't spend for what you don't need BUT upgrade what you do to make things more efficient/successful. #BizChats

Kathleen Burns @katbu A6: Update your internet plan/server for website. Consider self-checkout if possible. Targeted email marketing. #BizChats

Brenden Dilley @Hublife A6 Dont over complicate it. You're better off investing in EDUCATING yourself on how to use social media which is free. #BizChats

Doug and Polly White @letgotogrow A6 Technology upgrades must pay for themselves either by increased revenue or reduced costs – otherwise, just say no! #BizChats

Amy Jo Martin @AmyJoMartin A6: Be clear on WHY you want to upgrade or seek new tech in order to vet new options efficiently. Avoid shiny object syndrome. #BizChats

Matthew Toren @matthewtoren A6: The #1 objective of #smallbusinesses is to acquire new customers yet according to @salesforce 25% don't have a CRM system #bizchats

Martin Jones @martinjonesaz A6. Your business isn’t slowing down is your Internet keeping up? Now is the time to ensure your speed will fit your needs in 2016

150+ Holiday Business Tips from Mashable's #BizChats Question 7 ImageQuestion Seven: What are key social media do's and don'ts for business around the holiday season?

Mari Smith @MariSmith
A7: Let your social audiences know when your private messages will/will not be managed over the Holidays. #BizChats

Hire additional (temporary) social customer care staff long before needed. Provide *exceptional* training!

DO create compelling Holiday offers. DON'T go crazy and give away the store. #BizChats

Ideon A7 Facebook+Pinterest lead buyers to sellers’ sites; Instagram is the holy grail for brands. Sell every 4th post #BizChats

Neil Blockley @NeilBlockley A7 @mashbusiness got B2B relationships show gratitude for valued business throughout year, arrange meet up or Skype, make personal #bizchats

Kathleen Burns @katbu A7: DO respond to customers ASAP, have holiday offers. DON'T Auto-DM, auto-respond, go nuts with holiday website/ad designs. #BizChats

Kalind Patel @NYCKNP A7: DO be polite and sensitive to others. DON'T sell anything that will look like spam to others. #BizChats

Laura Marie @lauramariescott It's important to be personable especially around the Christmas period. Be helpful and friendly to customers at all times. #BizChats

Marley Majcher @ThePartyGoddess A7 Answer questions and concerns and diffuse issues FAST on social media or you'll get creamed. #bizchats

Make sure your freaking promo codes work! #ThatDrivesMeNuts 🙂

Be consistent in your messaging across all of your social media platforms including website & blog #BizChats .

Matthew Toren @matthewtoren A7: Don't: You have to use social media accounts to make them work. If social isn't your thing, use a service like @99dollarsocial #BizChats

150+ Holiday Business Tips from Mashable's #BizChats Featured Image

DO: Track when your followers are most active on social media and post during those time frames. #BizChats

Suzan A Abdurrahman @Suzans411 @Suzans411 A7: Ensure content is holiday relevant. Pics of product in holiday setting, change banners on social platforms etc. #BizChats

Brenden Dilley @Hublife A7 Remember that your "customers" are people just like you. Don't spam them with ads for stuff you wouldn't buy auto-reply = yuck! #BizChats

Doug and Polly White @letgotogrow A7 A lot of people want to use Merry Christmas – not just Happy Holidays. Know your audienc #BizChats

Jennifer Baker @JenniferBakerCo A7: LISTEN. Be genuine. Be helpful. Have fun! #BizChats

Maureen Jann @MaureenOnPoint A7: 3 SocMed Dos: consistent presence, 24-hour schedule, and real interaction. They work together to create a brand presence. #BizChats

Martin Jones @martinjonesaz A7 Small biz should focus on just one or two tactics with a great holiday feel rather than go overboard by doing too much. #BizChats

GR Area Chamber @GRACC A7: DO respond to customer inquiries on social media within 30 minutes to an hour. Be available for questions about products. #BizChats

Amy Jo Martin @AmyJoMartin A7: Do: Listen, find your holiday saints (mentor brands) to learn from. Ex: @VirginAmerica. Don’t: Try to invent a new tone now. #BizChats

Debbi King @DebbiKing A7: Use Twitter & FB to let your customers know everything that is going on. Even give them specials. #BizChats

Trims Unlimited @TrimsUnlimited A7: Do not automate posts! Be sensitive and aware of the many holidays observed #BizChats

150+ Holiday Business Tips from Mashable's #BizChats Question 8 ImageQuestion Eight: What final tips do you have for businesses to achieve success during the holiday season?

Mari Smith @MariSmith A8: Use Facebook's remarketing pixel! SUPER effective to help your prospects decide to buy. How to: http://on.fb.me/1O3kKkE  #BizChats

SCL EquipmentFinance @SCL_EquipFin A8: The #holidays can be stressful. Remember to say #thankyou to your customers & treat them as people, not business/objects. #BizChats

Use Facebook Custom Audiences! Upload your customer list & place FB & Instagram ads. #BizChats

The best time to plan your Holiday offers was months ago. The second best time is today!

Jennifer Baker @JenniferBakerCo A8: Be patient. Offer good customer service. Reward customers. #BizChats

Trims Unlimited @TrimsUnlimited Los Angeles, CA A8: Be genuine during this holiday season. Show customers you care with whatever means but thank them! #BizChats

Shruti Kothiwal @kothiwal_shruti A8: Be consistent & authentic,provide compelling stories & visuals,respond to queries ASAP, post when your audience are online #BizChats

Marley Majcher @ThePartyGoddess A8: Take time to breathe & course correct constantly. Pay attention to the #’s ALWAYS & often, easier to fix things. #bizchats 

Plan AHEAD with a strategy & have others poke holes in it so you’re prepared! If you're late, do what u can! #bizchats @mashbusiness

150+ Holiday Business Tips from Mashable's #BizChats Featured Image

Amy Jo Martin @AmyJoMartin Q8: Final tips. Brands must humanize to monetize. Golden Rule: Humans connect w/ humans, not logos. Beware of innovation allergies #BizChats

Digital Marketing KC @DMI_KC A8: Be authentic! Care about your customers. Offer sales/special offers on #socialmedia. #BizChats

Brenden Dilley @Hublife A8 Have fun. Don't lose sight of what the Holiday season is supposed to be all about by obsessing about the almighty $$$. #BizChats

Matthew Toren @matthewtoren A8: Nurture leads online with #Retargeting Make sure you’re serving ads that are personalized and relevant to each user. #BizChats

Doug and Polly White @letgotogrow A8 Keep your staff happy – they will make or break you during the season #BizChats

Everybody is a bit stressed during the holidays – stay patient and calm #BizChats

Martin Jones @martinjonesaz A8 Start planning (thinking about) next year, now. The longer you have to plan, the more effective & successful you will be #BizChats

Jake Counselbaum @jakecbaum A8 Make social media your number 1 customer service avenue. It's quick, easy to manage and people will stick w/ you. #BizChats

Kathleen Burns @katbu A8: Remember that at the end of the day, customers are people + react to personable people/brands. Mistakes happen - don't panic! #BizChats

Click here for questions 1-4!

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