Tips for Navigating the Holiday Season as a Small Business Owner

As Hardware Retailing notes, the holidays are a time when many people like to shop locally and support small businesses. While this can be a busy and profitable time for small businesses, it can also be chaotic and stressful. With that in mind, the Greater Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce put together some tips to help you prepare your business for the holiday season so that you can make the most of it.

Get to Decorating

Decorating the storefront can be a great way to attract attention to your business and create a festive atmosphere. Here are a few tips for decorating your small business during the holiday season:

  • Make sure the decorations are festive and in line with your branding.

  • Keep the decorations simple and avoid clutter.

  • Use lights, wreaths, and other holiday decorations to make your storefront stand out.

  • Make sure all of the decorations are safe and secure.

Bring In Seasonal Staff

If your small business expects to be busy during the holiday season, Papershift points out that you may want to consider hiring seasonal staff. Here are a few tips for hiring seasonal staff:

  • Be clear about the job duties and expectations.

  • Make sure that the seasonal staff is aware of your return policy.

  • Train the seasonal staff properly.

  • Make sure that you have enough staff to meet demand.

  • Remember that seasonal staff may only be available for a limited time.

Update Your Marketing Approach

If you want your small business to make the most of the holiday season, you'll need to make adjustments to your marketing strategy. Following are a few tips for updating your marketing approach for the holiday season:

  • Update your website and social media profiles with festive images and content.

  • Send out holiday-themed email newsletters.

  • Participate in online and offline holiday promotions.

  • Make sure your branding is festive and in line with the holiday season.

  • Offer seasonal discounts and promotions.

  • Make sure to track your results and analyze how well your marketing efforts performed.

Creating a PDF Holiday Gift Guide

If you're looking for an affordable way to promote your small business during the holiday season, creating a PDF holiday gift guide may be the way to go. You can start out using Microsoft Word to get all the information – including text and graphics – in place, then quickly convert Word to PDF in four easy steps. A reduced file size allows you to share on social media posts, on your website, or via an email campaign. Here are a few tips for creating a PDF holiday gift guide:

  • Start by creating a list of items that you would like to include in the guide.

  • Create categories for the items in your guide.

  • Include images of the items in your guide.

  • Make sure the design of your guide is festive and in line with your branding.

  • Make sure the guide is easy to print and share.

  • Once you have created your guide, promote it on your website and social media channels.

Give Back

The holiday season is a time when many people like to give back to the community. As a small business owner, there are a few ways that you can participate in giving back to the community:

  • Donate goods or services; this can be a great way to help out local charities and nonprofits.

  • Support local events by sponsoring local holiday festivals or charity events.

  • Volunteer your time to local organizations in need.

Cater to the Last-Minute Crowd

Last-minute shoppers are a great source of business for small businesses during the holiday season. Here are a few tips for attracting last-minute shoppers:

  • Make sure you have plenty of inventory on hand.

  • Offer discounts and promotions.

  • Advertise your discounts and promotions online and offline.

  • Train your staff to be knowledgeable about your products and services.

  • Make sure your business is open during extended hours.


While the holidays can be a busy and stressful time for small business owners, with a little bit of preparation you can make it through the season and come out on top. Follow these tips to get ready for the holiday rush and make this year your most successful one yet!

Looking for business support in Greater Cape Ann? The Greater Cape Ann Chamber of Commercechampions our community’s economic and cultural growth through networking, events, and advocacy. Become a member today!