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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.

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Crisis Deepens as Nissan Issues Fresh Profit Warning Again

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The woes of the Japanese car giant looks to have deepened by the newly issued profit warning by Nissan while it seeks to recover from Carlos Ghosn’s arrest 

The firm had second cut in its forecast within few months by downgrading its projection for net profit in the fiscal year to March 2019 from 410-billion yen ($3.7-billion) to 319-billion yen.

Nissan appeared to acknowledge the recent difficulties surrounding the Ghosn affair, which has cast questions over the company’s own corporate governance.

Reasons for the downgrade are:

“the adverse operating environment facing the company during the fourth quarter, and the impact of recent corporate issues on sales.”

 “additional expenses arising from the implementation of a warranty extension campaign covering certain vehicles sold in the US market.”

The profit warning came as ex-chairman Ghosn awaits his fate after prosecutors hit him with a fourth set of charges over alleged financial misconduct.

 

In February, Nissan already slashed its full-year forecast, as it revealed that nine-month net profit had dropped 45 percent — a decline the firm blamed on rising raw material costs and foreign exchange difficulties.

It was forced to downgrade its net profit forecast for the fiscal year to March to 410 billion-yen, compared to 500-billion yen earlier.

 

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I’ve always wondered, Why do billionaires buy media empires?

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An article by Jordan Murray

Although the financial situation for newspapers remains less than ideal, billionaires continue to invest in print media for their institutional worth, with aims to make publications self-sufficient.

If you had $190 million to spare, what would you spend it on?

If you’re Marc and Lynne Benioff, you’d buy a media empire. The flamboyant CEO of Salesforce and his wife purchased the publication from Meredith Corporation a few weeks ago, quickly distancing themselves from the magazine’s editorial direction.

It was a decision that was made, Marc admits, without much forethought, and its spontaneity is as much a product of his outsized personality as it is of his wealth. Indeed, the large cash infusion represents a boon for Time, but represents only around three per cent of the Benioff’s net wealth. It’s endemic of a larger trend in business of high-earning CEOs bankrolling print media to insulate cultural institutions from economic and technological changes.

Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce

Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce

While many are grateful for Benioff’s financial infusion, others are suspicious of his motives and the pressures he might exert on the newspaper’s editorial position. For his part, Benioff has moved to assuage those concerns, with Time’s chief content officer Alan Murray saying the Benioffs were willing to “put journalistic integrity ahead of corporate gains”.

Otherwise, Benioff’s purchase of Time appears to be an effort to preserve the periodical, as opposed to turning it into a vehicle for his political views. That hasn’t comforted some sceptics though, who have witnessed the financially precarious situation that arises when business leaders expect returns on their investments.

Why would anybody buy a newsroom?

It’s easy to compare billionaires with an interest in media empires to Charles Foster Kane, Orson Welles’ ruthless newspaper magnate. The truth is often more complex than that. Some CEOs, like Jeff Bezos, purchase flagging institutions not out of pity but out of a profit motive. Bezos, after all, was initially unmoved at the prospect of purchasing a business that haemorrhaged money and that he didn’t know much about.

However, he saw the opportunity as having a greater sense of rightness to it. “If this were a financially upside-down, salty snack food company, the answer would be no,” Bezos reasoned, “But as soon as I started thinking about it that way, I started to realize The Washington Post is an important institution.”

“If this were a financially upside-down, salty snack food company, the answer would be no,” Bezos reasoned, “But as soon as I started thinking about it that way, I started to realize The Washington Post is an important institution.”

Nowadays, The Washington Post is profitable, thanks to Bezos’ technological direction as much as his financial contributions. He has remained outside the newsroom, and has instead focused on the newspapers’ economic situation, preferring not to think of his contribution as a “philanthropic endeavour”.

A comparable situation arose for Laurene Powell Jobs, when her Emerson Collective purchased The Atlantic in July 2017, saying that “there’s a door between Emerson and the Atlantic, but it only swings from the Atlantic into Emerson; it doesn’t open in the other direction”.

Like Bezos’ approach, the emphasis wasn’t on editorial direction as much as it was on improving the economic function of the publication itself, which Jobs managed to do. Although the financial situation for newspapers remains less than ideal, billionaires continue to invest in print media for their institutional worth – an often-achievable goal, as newspapers are relatively inexpensive investments – with aims to make the publications self-sufficient.

Laurene Powell Jobs

Laurene Powell Jobs

Do things always work out?

In contrast to those two particularly fortunate cases, other entrepreneurs aren’t quite as committed to the outcomes of their chosen publication, quickly losing patience with their investment and becoming eager to rid themselves of it.

Perhaps the most notorious example of this is Joe Ricketts, whose purchase of Gothamist prefaced an attempt to merge the idiosyncratic vehicle for snark and culture with his own New York-centric outlet, DNAInfo. The arrangement lasted for only eight months, in which time both newsrooms complained about mismatched agendas. When the staff of both publications attempted to unionise, Ricketts simply shut both down and walked away from the situation.

Similarly, Peter Barbey purchased The Village Voice in 2015 promising that he was “flat-out serious about getting The Voice to be a major Manhattan publication”. Three years later, he unceremoniously shut down printing, citing “business realities”.

Such billionaire investments in newspapers are met with suspicion by the journalists who work for them not because they portend maleficent editorial direction, but because they often become more accountable to the economic concerns of one person. Much like any other business, if there isn’t a model for self-sufficiency to work towards, that often means that the end is in sight.

Much like any other business, if there isn’t a model for self-sufficiency to work towards, that often means that the end is in sight.

So, what happens next?

In conversation with CNBC, Joshua Benton, director of Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard, cited several reasons for why billionaires choose to become involved in media, including “a mixture of … sincere appreciation of the art form, … a desire to see it flourish … [!and!] a sense of civic responsibility”.

Moreover, the chance for growth in an industry that has struggled to adapt to digital distribution is immense and has proven profitable under the right leadership. Ultimately, the emphasis isn’t about establishing a vehicle for personal retribution. It’s about product differentiation and, eventually, financial returns.

It’s not difficult to appreciate how Benioff views the matter; he believes that there are two types of CEOs, those committed to improving the state of the world, and those who are not.

When he purchased Time, he was acting on that impulse, believing that print journalism deserved attention. It doesn’t mean he’s prepared to throw away a significant sum of money. It means that he’s willing to help a beleaguered industry through challenging times, with the sort of leadership and business expertise only an eccentric, carefree CEO can bring.

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