During the holidays, the big-box retailers have it made. They have the volume to create outstanding sales to drive customers in the door. Sometimes, small business owners feel left out in the cold in their efforts to compete with the larger companies. It does not have to be that way, but you need to know some tricks that will help you work with other business owners to make your community a hub of holiday cheer.
We spoke to Cyrus Baseghi. Baseghi is the sales lead for OSSI, a firm from Oakland, California that specializes in many different aspects of computer software and database design, app development as well as system programming. Baseghi is an expert in sales of all of these types of technological services.
Baseghi came up with a list of books and other resources that contain information on how businesses can boost their sales during the holidays.
“Boosting Holiday Sales: A Full Guide to Optimizing Your Online Gifting Sales During the Holiday Season” –
This small Kindle ebook is directed at all types of online sales, regardless if you sell clothing, products for automobiles, electronics, groceries, furniture, appliances, entertainment items, hardware or home improvement items, pet products, subscription services, office supplies, sporting goods, toys or other consumer products. It gets you thinking, right from the introduction, about all of the different ways in which consumers spend more money during the holidays, such as for travel and family gatherings, for groceries and greeting cards, gift shopping and even bulk item purchases.
“Boosting Holiday Sales” is advised for anyone who has focused less upon their online presence in the past.
Although not a book per se, American Express supports and promotes Small Business Saturday, an event the day after Black Friday, in which local small businesses gather together to encourage the townspeople to utilize their products and services during the holiday season as well as throughout the year.
The American Express Small Business Saturday guides include information on how to organize food festivals that showcase your local restaurants; how to create pop-up markets that support your smaller, local in-person and online businesses; how to create a welcome station for shoppers with shopping passports that can be stamped and overall Small Business Saturday action plans and event planning guides.
Baseghi states that the key to boosting holiday sales is when local small businesses work together to create an engaging holiday ambiance that encourages shoppers to learn about their offerings in a laid back and festive manner.
“Good Morning, Beautiful Business” by Judy Wicks –
If you learn best by a real-life story, Wicks’ books is the amazing true tale of a woman who began a retail muffin shop in her local, West Philadelphia neighborhood in order to keep the building and the entire block from being demolished. She was able to turn the business into a 200-seat restaurant that provides the community with locally-grown, organic food that is humanely harvested.
The restaurant has become a powerful example of community revitalization, socially-responsible business practices and business and community leaders working to make local businesses and communities thrive, no matter the location.
“Retail The Second-Oldest Profession: 7 Timeless Principles to WIN in Retail Today” by Flora Delaney –
If you find that your organization needs to get back to the fundamentals, Delaney has an ebook, 333 pages in total, that specifically delineates the fundamentals of retailing. Chapters address sound retail strategies, delivering great customer service, staying relevant to customers, how to best showcase and price products, using sound management principles and engaging your entire store team to provide the above fundamentals.
Delaney is a retail merchandising consultant who has worked with the likes of Best Buy, Target, Whole Foods, Petsmart, Family Dollar and Petco. She was given a powerful recommendation of her book from a VP at Coca-Cola. Reviewers liken the book to a cookbook that you can refer to again and again to solve retail sales problems.
To round things out with some more tips for improving retail holiday sales, here is an article by Entrepreneur Magazine with some more Small Business Saturday tips.
Cyrus Baseghi knows that small businesses can flower during the holiday season. He encourages local small businesses to develop alliances and create and atmosphere that drives shoppers to their businesses as a means of experiencing holiday ambiance and cheer