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Getting Holiday-Ready: A Brief Guide for Small Business Owners

CNBC reports that the holiday season is a vital time for small businesses, with nearly 80 percent of small business owners in an American Express survey saying that holiday sales likely determine whether they can stay afloat. This is the time of year when people are out shopping for gifts, and if you want a piece of the pie, you need to make sure your business is prepared. With a little bit of planning, you can make the most of this festive time of year! The guide from the Gulf Breeze Area Chamber of Commerce explains what you need to do to get started.

Have a Holiday-Specific Marketing Plan notes that one of the first things you should do to prepare for the holiday season is to rethink your marketing focus. This means creating some festive visuals and maybe even coming up with a holiday-specific slogan. You want your marketing materials to reflect the joy and excitement of the season, so potential customers know that your business is the place to go for all their holiday needs.

Create a Customer Gift Guide

If you're not sure what kind of gifts to offer this holiday season, why not create a gift guide? This is a great way to show off your products and give customers some ideas. Plus, it's easy and affordable to create a gift guide using PDFs. You can use a free PDF converter to convert original files, whether they’re in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, or even graphics files like JPGs and PNGs. All you need is some basic design software and a printer, and you're good to go!

Make Your Storefront Festive

No matter what kind of business you have, it's important to decorate your storefront for the holidays. This will make your business more inviting and put customers in the holiday spirit. Plus, it's a great way to attract attention from passersby. If you don't have much time or money to spend on decorations, consider making some DIY decorations using items you already have around the office or store.

Look for Opportunities to Give Back

The holidays are also a great time to give back to the community that has supported your business throughout the year. There are many ways to do this, such as donating money or goods to a local charity, volunteering your time at a food bank or soup kitchen, or even just spreading some holiday cheer by giving out free cookies or hot chocolate at your storefront. Whatever you do, remember that giving back is always appreciated during this time of year.

Bring in Those Last-Minute Shoppers

Even though people are supposed to start their holiday shopping early, there will always be those who wait until the very last second to buy presents. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to attract these procrastinators into your store! Offer special deals or discounts, put up signs advertising your store as a great place for last-minute shopping, or stay open late in the evenings. Whatever you do, make sure last-minute shoppers know that they can count on you when they need it most. 

Hire Additional Temporary Staff

If your business gets busy during the holidays—which it hopefully will—you may need to hire some seasonal staff members to help out. This doesn't have to be a big production; simply post a sign in your window or on your website letting people know that you're hiring seasonal employees. Then, conduct some brief interviews and make your decisions based on who would be the best fit for your business. Keep in mind that seasonal staff can be a great asset, so take your time in making your decision and don't hesitate to ask for help if needed.


Nothing is more vital to your small business than planning for the holidays. By taking some time now to prepare, you can ensure that your business makes the most of this festive period! Update your marketing approach, decorate your storefront, give back to the community, hire seasonal staff members, and attract last-minute shoppers into your store. With the right planning, you can make this holiday season the best yet!

Access even more great resources to help your business grow and thrive in our community by joining the Gulf Breeze Area Chamber of Commerce.