1. Contract with hair and nail salons to create mini holiday baskets to sell to salon customers using the salon’s products. In addition to outright sales, these baskets can be given as gifts to their “special” customers. Think small (i.e. nail polish and accessories).
2. Like you, small business owners are scrambling for sales. This year, sending some type of gift can be critical to next year’s success. For small gift basket sales, contact business owners who depend on referrals. Suggest sending a small gift to say ‘thanks’ for all referral sources.
3. Put a basket in several businesses in town, and place a box for people to register to win the basket. This is a great way to get a mailing list. Compile the entries into a mailing list, which both you and the local business can use. Having a gift basket to give away is good for the local business — and you, of course!
4. December is ripe with opportunities to promote your business. Home tours, craft fairs, special events and concerts are piled on top of each other. Every event is an opportunity to promote sales of your gift baskets. Consider offering a free gift basket for raffles, in exchange for the mailing list, or the opportunity to place smaller items on a table for sale.
5. Sponsor an open house for real estate caravans in your area. Serve punch and refreshments in exchange for the opportunity to set up a display of your holiday gifts.
6. Are you mining every name and contact? Each time you make a sale for delivery or shipment of a gift basket, you gain a new name, phone number and address — plus, you can hope, an e-mail address. That name, of course, is the recipient of the gift basket. Add the name to your mail list; send an e-mail follow-up. Stay in touch with this new prospect. If they were happy to receive the gift basket, they will be happy to order one for someone else.
7. Who, of all people, can get attention during the holidays? Santa Claus! Have Santa, Mrs. Santa, or an elf visit some offices and corporations with thank you gifts for your own clients. A character can do more to promote your business than almost anyone — besides you, of course! Attach candy canes to business cards and let the character pass them around.