Commentary: All I want for Christmas

Carols are on the radio, friends are sharing cups of hot chocolate, and the chill of winter has finally settled in. Can you hear Christmas whistling merrily around the corner? I certainly can! About now is the time that as a child I would sit down and write my letter to Santa. It was like a Christmas wish mailed directly to the North Pole. Today, my letter would look very different from the one I have written in the past. This year, all I want for this Christmas is for OUR business community to work together, better than we ever have.

Cooperating and uniting as a strong business community is more important than ever before during this holiday season. Business owners face many difficult and unexpected challenges daily. Santa’s elves never have to worry about the possibility of losing sales as the days grow colder and darker. They also do not have to compete with online shopping giants like Amazon for holiday sales. We do. However, there is a thing or two we can learn from Santa’s short and jolly team. Teamwork can accomplish incredible feats.

What if you could increase or even double your holiday sales? When you partner with the other business elves in your area, you just might. Stores that cooperate can increase customer foot traffic on their blocks, raising the possibility of in-store traffic for everyone. There are two different opportunities you and your neighboring businesses can take advantage of.

First, you can coordinate sales and events on the same day as the stores around you. The more businesses that host specials at the same time incentivize more customers to come and check it out. Even if customers originally come down because of your neighbor’s deal, they might stop by on their way and purchase something from you. These coordinated events could be as simple as handing out hot chocolate with stores in your area to all the late-night holiday shoppers. Or, you could partner with the businesses in your area to give customers coupons to other stores, when they purchase an item from you. Cooperating with other local shops can work some Christmas magic on your sales.

Becoming an event and sales holiday wizard with your neighbors is not the only way you can raise your sales. Social media is like the Rudolf to your store. It helps to shine a light on what you offer and increases your reach to the community. Now, you might be a social media superstar and have experienced first-hand the rise in store traffic and sales. What if you helped the businesses around you step up their game on social media as well? When your neighbors have increased visibility online, they can attract more customers to their store, customers you may not have been able to reach. Now that these shoppers are in the area shopping, thanks to your neighbor’s social media, they might wander into your store to make additional more purchases. Five stores rocking social media have a better reach than just one store. Better online presence means increased customer presence.

This year, all I want for Christmas is to see OUR business community working together to fill up their store with customers and sales. United, our business community is unstoppable. Santa’s elves have nothing on what we could accomplish. So, what do you want for Christmas?


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