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The Best Holiday Season Ever: Week 2

Entry By Jason Brick

See Week One of this series to take you from early October to Black Friday itself and the best holiday season of your business's life. Don't worry if you're starting late -- you'll just have to do a little double-timing to catch up. 

Holiday-week-2-planning

This week is all about setting wheels in motion. As the holidays approach, you'll be neck-deep in events and sales -- so use this time not just to get things moving, but to take a little rest before things get too heavy. In addition to your regular business and operations tasks, you're going to take on four assignments:
* Set Your Event Calendar
* Start Your SMS Countdown
* Set Up Your Elite Team
* Identify Your Clearance Items

With these finished, you'll be set for this week, well on the road to holiday sale success.

  1. Set Your Event Calendar
    Using last week's schedule of events, sit down with your calendar and decide what dates you'll put each event on. For example, Week Five has a Halloween Contest and a Halloween Event, and Week Eight includes your Black Friday Bonanza. Write the dates down and share them with your key staffers.
  2. Start Your SMS Countdown
    Beginning this week, make a note at the end of each SMS marketing broadcast of the time left until your next major event. Something quick like "Just 8 days until our Halloween Contest! Be ready!" If you're short on characters, send a countdown message on its own. If your SMS service allows it, you can plug in the reminders for the entire season, scheduled to launch on appropriate days.

    As your details coalesce, put some information on your website and include the link in some of your broadcasts. Use the countdown to build awareness and excitement among your subscribers.
  3. Set Up Your Elite Team
    If you don't already have one, this is a group of "super-subscribers" willing to go the extra mile for your business. Set up a distribution list among these key employees and customers, be it email, social media, or another text group. Collect the names with a combined invitation on SMS and social media, along with the promise of extra goodies to come. This team will be instrumental in the success of many of your events in the coming weeks. If you already have an elite team, set a goal to double enrollment in the next few weeks.
  4. Identify Your Clearance Items
    Dig through your stores and find the stuff you're not going to move any time soon. If you're a restaurant, identify a handful of quickly-made, high-margin items. Tag them with post-it notes or make a list, whatever will help you remember them as things move forward. You'll use these for your giveaways, prizes and clearance sale in the coming weeks.

We invite reports from the field, be they questions, comments or complaints. Comment below to start the conversation.

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