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9 Ways to Make Your Small Business Stand Out This Holiday Season

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The holidays are a crucial time for small businesses. According to the National Retail Federation, holiday retail sales in 2021 reached almost $887 billion—and 2022 is on track to be even bigger. With so much money up for grabs, it's more important than ever for small businesses to make sure they stand out from the crowd.

Luckily, there are plenty of ways to do just that. From creating a PDF gift guide to investing in holiday packaging, these nine tips from the Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce will help your small business attract attention and boost sales this holiday season.

1. PDF Gift Guides

Streamline Retail notes that gift guides are a great way to promote products and generate sales during the holidays. If you have a few different products or product lines, put together a guide with something for everyone. Be sure to include product photos, descriptions, and links so customers can easily find what they're looking for.   

That said, you’ll want to limit the file size and optimize visual quality of your gift guide by saving it as a PDF. Publishing your guide as a PDF is common practice for many retailers, and there’s good reason why. Such documents can be easily sent via email and uploaded to your website and social media channels, while consumers can conveniently view them on virtually any device. PDFs are also extremely easy to work with. For example, if you wanted to select a page or section from your guide and use it elsewhere, you can extract PDF content using a tool.

2. Holiday Packaging

First impressions matter, so make sure your products are packaged in a way that's festive and eye-catching. Customized boxes or bags with your branding will help your products stand out under the tree (or wherever they end up).

3. Customer Loyalty

The holidays are a great time to show your appreciation for loyal customers. Send out holiday cards with exclusive coupons or discounts, or give them early access to holiday sales. You could even put together special holiday gift bundles featuring some of your best-selling items.

4. Social Media

Social media is a powerful marketing tool—and it's especially useful during the holidays when people are spending more time online shopping and looking for gift ideas. Plan ahead and create some festive content that showcases your products or services. Sendible points out that you could also run holiday-themed social media contests or giveaways to attract attention and generate excitement around your brand.

5. Interactive Content

In addition to promoting your products, use your blog or website to share helpful content this holiday season. Write articles about gift-giving ideas, post interactive quizzes (like "what holiday gift should you give?"), or create infographics with tips for stress-free holiday entertaining. Not only will this type of content be useful for your readers, but it will also help increase traffic to your site—which could lead to more sales down the road.

6. Contests and Giveaways

Who doesn't love a good giveaway? Hosting a contest or giveaway is a great way to generate excitement and buzz around your small business during the holidays—plus, it's an easy way to get people to share your brand with their friends and followers (which could lead to even more exposure and sales). Just be sure to choose a prize that's relevant to your business and make sure the entry requirements are simple enough that people will take the time to enter.

7. Holiday Events

If you have a brick-and-mortar location, consider hosting a special event during the holidays—like an ugly sweater party or Holiday Bingo night—to attract customers and get them in the festive spirit (while also doing some holiday shopping). You could even partner with other local businesses to host a joint event or pop-up shop (more on that below).

8. Business Partnerships

Collaborating with other businesses is a great way to reach new audiences and boost sales during the holidays (and beyond). You could partner with complementary businesses to offer joint promotions or discounts, host co-branded events, or even create joint holiday gift guides featuring products from both brands.

9. Charity Work

The holidays are all about giving back, so consider supporting a local charity as part of your marketing efforts this year. There are plenty of ways you can get involved, from hosting fundraisers or donation drives at your store to partnering with a charity on social media, to simply making a monetary donation. Whatever you do, make sure it's something that aligns well with your brand identity and mission—it will make your marketing efforts more authentic and impactful.

The holidays are an important time for small businesses—but they can also be pretty competitive. With so many brands vying for attention, it's crucial that yours stands out from the rest. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to do just that. From creating PDF gift guides and interactive content to partnering with other businesses, these nine tips will help you attract attention and boost sales this holiday season. So what are you waiting for? Get started today!


Looking for business support in Marshall? The Marshall Area Chamber of Commerce champions our community’s economic and cultural growth through networking, events, and advocacy. Become a member today!


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