By Susan L. Reid


Everyone knows The Twelve Days of Christmas, the English Christmas carol that tells of increasing gifts that are given on each of the twelve days leading up to Christmas.

But not everyone knows how this traditional song applies to small business owners.
That is… until now.
As a small business owner, have you given any thought to what the tradition of gift giving can do for your business? With the countdown to Christmas underway, do you have a plan to utilize this festive holiday season to promote your business and maximize your success?
Well, here’s an effective, easy-to-implement twelve-day plan that will guarantee you have something special to offer all month long.

12 Things You Can Do to Make Your Business Merry

1.    On the first day of December – Get your story, idea, product, or service announcement out into the marketplace seven different ways, all at once.
Choose from these options to make a powerful impact:
•     Press release
•     Blog post
•     Facebook
•     E-zine blast
•     E-mail announcement
•     Videocast
•     Downloadable audio snatch
•     Free e-book
•     Podcast
•     Teleseminar
2.    On the second day of December – Use free classified ads to promote your business.
If you have a knack for writing short ads, you will be able to increase your site traffic by using free (or pretty darn cheap) classified ads. Place ads where you know your target audience will see them.
3.    On the third day of December – Write down your personal affirmation for the month.
The goal here is to help you step back from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and stay focused on what’s important to you.
4.    On the fourth day of December – Introduce yourself to three potential referral sources.
A nurturing referral relationship can be quite profitable. So think of professionals who would be good referral sources for you. Then make contact with them today.
5.    On the fifth day of December – Add three success stories to your website.
You already may have testimonials from your clients on your website. Now create a space for their before-and-after success stories. Remember to include a link back to their sites so everyone gets some love during the holiday season.
6.    On the sixth day of December – Add a tantalizing promotional “special” to your email signature space.
Put a brief promotional line about the special product or service that you are giving away (or offering at a reduced rate) this December.
7.    On the seventh day of December – Write each of your clients and customers a personal, hand-written “thank you” card.
Thank them for sticking with you through the 2009 recession. Be sure to include a coupon they can use between now and the end of the year for a special product or service.
8.    On the eighth day of December – Offer a deal, such as “buy-one-get-one-free.” This will increase your sales!
9.    On the ninth day of December – Follow up with all your 2009 leads who showed an interest in your product or service but didn’t buy.
Call (don’t email) them and see if they now have a need for anything you offer.
10.    On the tenth day of December – Let your clients know about something big you’ll either be doing or offering in 2010.
Here are some big ways to make an impact and get their attention:
•    Book launch
•    DVD training program
•    Keynote speaking engagement
•    Public seminar
•    Corporate training program
•    Boot camp
•    Mentoring and apprenticeship program
•    Weekend retreat
•    Television show
•    Membership website program
•    Special teleseminar series
11.    On the eleventh day of December – Take 10% of your profits and make a donation to a charity of your choice. This one thing alone is sure to make your business merry.
12.    On the twelfth day of December – Do something nice for you.
The countdown to Christmas is underway, and many people are shopping online this holiday season. As a smart small business owner, you need to offer special buying opportunities all month long. The list of “12 Things You Can Do to Make Your Business Merry” will help you do just that. Implement one idea each day.
You’ll not only be promoting your business during this holiday season, you’ll also be making certain it will be a success in the coming New Year.

Small Business Start-up Expert Susan L. Reid is the award-winning author of Discovering Your Inner Samurai: The Entrepreneurial Woman’s Journey to Business Success. If you’re ready to jump-start your start-up, identify your target niche, and get your business ready to launch, get your FR*EE Inner Samurai Business Toolkit.