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9 Ways to Market Your Small Business During the Holidays

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It’s holiday season! And by “season” I mean months of costumes and celebrations and eating … lots and lots of eating. Many of the big holidays are already behind us, like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday. However, Christmas, Chanukah, and New Year’s Eve are still ahead of us. Most of probably won’t be celebrating all of the upcoming holidays, but collectively, your customers will, and they’re all opportunities to push out more sales.

And to eat, of course. Never miss that opportunity.

Now is the time to get organized. Here are nine things that you have to do now to be more memorable this holiday season.

1. Prepare your calendar.

Make sure that each one of those holidays is marked and has a reminder. You want plenty of time to prepare seasonal content for each of those holidays, get it online and promote in time for people to cash in. Share the calendar with your team and plan. Create your holiday social media calendar well in advance, because you need to remember that your team will be taking time off. So, the more you plan ahead, the better.

2. Offer a sale.

The easiest way to make the most of the holidays is with a sale. Black Friday and Cyber Monday have no tradition behind them except a chance to boost sales by cutting prices. You won’t even have to put up decorations or buy a Cyber Monday Tree. Just make sure that you know which products you’re going to discount before the holiday and by how much, and prepare your marketing material.

3. Throw in a gift.

A great way to sweeten the deal and show that you’re not just cutting prices but also celebrating a holiday is to give your customers a gift. That could be something as simple as an information product or a coupon, or as complex as a Lego Millennium Falcon (hint, hint). But, make your customers feel that you’re celebrating with them.

4. Create a video or a few.

If you’re not using video to promote your business, you’re not making the most of all the marketing power the internet has to offer. You don’t even have to spend hours fiddling around with editing software. Platforms like ly/promo” rel=”follow”>PROMO by Slide.lynow make it very easy to create a video by choosing from pre-shot and pre-edited high-quality footage, share it … and start making the next one.

5. Stay active on social media.

The holiday season is not the time to take a social media vacation. You’ll need to be active on all your usual platforms, preparing your audience for the next holiday and priming them to buy. Encourage your Facebook followers to share your video and have plenty of good pictures to share on Instagram.

6. Send a personal email sharing your story of the year.

And don’t forget good old-fashioned email marketing! An inbox can feel more personal than a public post so write up a good story related to your business and thank your customers for being a part of it. And don’t forget to include a call to action.

7. Decorate your storefront.

You might not have to run out and buy a Black Friday bush, but you should add some banners to your website, adjust the design of your store window and get festive with your packaging. Customers should feel that they’re making the most of a time-limited opportunity, even if there’s another one just around the corner.

8. Update your goals.

As you approach the end of the year, this is also an excellent time to take another look at where you are. Review your goals, set new ones and update your content so that it looks fresh and up-to-date. The holiday season is the perfect time of year to shift gears or change direction.

9. Show your personality!

And don’t forget that holidays are a time of fun. Don’t be afraid to let your hair down and enjoy yourself. You might not be able to party with your customers, but you can joke around with them, be yourself and build a real relationship that will take you right through to next year’s holiday season.

The holiday season is inclusive, no matter which one you are celebrating. Incorporating a little bit of holiday cheer into your marketing strategies during these months will make you more relatable and memorable to your customers and audience. Take the time and complete the additional work to make sure that you and your team aren’t missing the best opportunity to connect more authentically with customers.

Business

Import route block throws Ethiopia into fuel scarcity.

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The Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa has been hit by a severe fuel shortage as at Tuesday (January 15), multiple local media outlets have reported.

Unusually long queues have been formed outside fuel stations that have supplies with many motorists waiting for hours to buy fuel. Government has yet to respond to the development.



The shortage is largely blamed on a current blockage on the road that links Ethiopia and Djibouti. Ethiopia, a regional economic giant imports most of its supplies through the Djiboutian ports.

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The blockage is staged by young people in the Afar region who are protesting against violent incidents reportedly perpetrated by an ethnic group of Somali extraction.

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The blockage was specifically in the cities of Semera and Awash with pictures showing people sitting right in the middle of the road with loaded trucks parked on either side.

A local portal said protesters were unhappy about a move that saw the federal government withdraw the region’s special forces from areas where the violence happened.

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South Africa Stands 77th in global economic freedom index.

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South Africa has been ranked 77th out of 100 world countries in economic freedom by the Heritage Foundation.



In terms of economic freedom, the Heritage Foundation indicates that with a world rank of 77/180, South Africa is 4th in the African region. The country’s over-all economic freedom score improved with 0.7 in 2017.

General Manager for Research for Brand South Africa, Dr Petrus de Kock, said the index provides some insight into dimensions of the South African economic environment as the country continues to grapple with historical challenges, and the need to spur on entrepreneurship and innovation.

“Notable improvements for South Africa in 2018 include the improvement in the area of investment freedom, and judicial effectiveness. The latter is significant coming in a year where the administration of President Ramaphosa made investment a key focal area of its work,” said de Kock.

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South Africa’s improvement in the rankings comes as a result of advancements in the areas of property rights which is up from 67.6 in 2017 to 67.7 for 2018; judicial effectiveness increased from 59.7 in 2017 to 65.9; fiscal health sees an improvement of +4.6 from 70.7 in 2017; business freedom advanced by +3.1 points from 62.0 in 2017; labour freedom improved by +1.2 in 2018 from 58.9 in 2017; and investment freedom significantly improved by +10.0 from 40.0 in 2017. Notable is South Africa ranks higher than two European nations, being – Italy (79/180), and Greece (115/180).

On the global front based on the measurements of this index, the Heritage Foundation finds that the global average economic freedom score is 61.1, the highest score since inception of the index 24 years ago.

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At an aggregate level, of the 180 economies measured by the index in 2018 – 102 scored better, while the economic freedom scores of 75 got worse. In the case of South Africa it can be noted that the country is one of the 102 that improved its economic freedom score.

Released on an annual basis by the Heritage Foundation, the Index of Economic Freedom provides insight into the extent to which governments enable an open and unrestricted economic environment for citizens and businesses to operate in.

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