Christmas In July: Preparing Your Business For The Holidays

July 22 – We all have heard of the “Christmas in July” sales events that many retail businesses do each summer.  What most don’t know is why these sales happen.  These sales are considered a practice run for the holiday season that usually kicks off at Thanksgiving or as early as Halloween. During this time, retail businesses tend to markdown summer merchandise and prepare for the back to school rush on clothing and other essentials. Companies also test the market with items that are usually purchased as holiday gifts or decorations.  This is a great way to move items held over and placed in storage from the winter before.  All of the summer sales are essential to bringing revenue into the business to prepare for the holiday rush when employers will hire seasonal staff and also be able to purchase merchandise at a cash discount. To help prepare your business for the upcoming holiday season, I have provided a few neat ideas that you can put into place now during the summer.

  1. Develop a customer referral program. Word-of-mouth marketing for small business is an often overlooked yet super-powerful way to market your business. There’s a reason why word of mouth is number one on our list free marketing ideas. According to Nielsen, 92% of consumers believe recommendations from friends and family over all forms of advertising.
  2. Engage in one-to-one marketing. Sometimes referred to as 1:1 marketing, this is a customer relationship strategy aimed at boosting personalized interactions with customers. Examples run from sending handwritten postcards to valued customers or personalized birthday emails. The only thing this will cost you is your time, but otherwise, it’s a free marketing idea.
  3. Host an event or class. Plan an event to host or class to teach that will attract new customers to your business while educating them about your industry. The event or class will be its own form of advertising, as well as a good reason to advertise.
  4. Vehicle Branding. If you run a business where you have a car driving around town all the time, then an incredibly easy, near-free marketing idea for your small business is to brand your car! Having a vehicle with your logo on helps you get to name-recognition in your local area, and after the initial investment, it’s like free advertising.

This work was supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, 1890 Extension Formula Program projects under Section 1444.


Phyllis R. Varnon
Community Economic Development
Extension Agent for Zavala, Dimmit and Uvalde Counties