In many respects, the end of the year is a time for wrapping up business-related odds and ends, from getting those last deductible expenses in under the wire to running your final profit and loss calculations. But before you close the book on the current year, you'll want to make sure your relationships with clients, vendor partners and other businesses have a healthy head start for the following year. Let's look at some marketing practices that can turn the end of the year into a profitable investment in the future.
Everyone loves to feel appreciated, and there's no simpler way to reinforce that feeling than through the humble yet powerful thank-you note. If you have a lengthy list of deserving recipients, you can automate the process somewhat by using a card service that pulls contact information from your database (while also supplying a reasonably convincing "handwritten" font). But for maximum impact on those special individuals, take the time to actually write out a brief personalized line or two. You'll definitely be remembered over the holiday lull -- and you might even receive some notes in return!
For some special business to business clients, it might even be a good idea to give them an "Item of Value". This could be a starbucks card with a handwritten note thanking them for their friendship and business. It could be as elaborate as a three day snow ski vacation, depending on the value and type of account and relationship. Never under-estimate the power of this kind of personal gift in keeping those relationships strong into the new year.
'Tis the season to give presents. Holiday gifts that proudly sport your company name (or better yet, the recipient's company name) make a great way to stay memorable from one year to the next. If you know your recipient's favorites hobbies or interests, you might even search for a promotional product that matches up with those details. The main thing is to give promotional gifts that will be genuinely useful -- not merely decorative -- so your recipient will interact with those products on an everyday basis.
It's party time for countless businesses and associations in your area, including many of your most valued clients. Networking is always a key marketing tool for adding and/or retaining local connections, and during the holiday season
many key players finally have time to get out and mingle with each other in a casual, merry environment. Some of them will even be hosting their own events -- so make sure you're there to support their efforts and reinforce your bonds with them. If you'd like to be the center of attention, host your own holiday party or open networking event as well.
Don't let the distractions and fatigue that accompany the end of the year affect your business. Use the unique marketing opportunities this season offers to make next year even better than this year!