Don’t let the holidays sneak up on you. Plan your marketing strategy now…and make sure you’ve got the staff to handle the rush.

[EasyDNNnewsToken:Left Justify Embed 300 x 250]Letting the holidays sneak up on you can not only reduce your business’s success at the end of the year; it’s a wonderful chance for your competition to get a leg up on you heading into the new year.  Most businesses have all their overhead built into the cost of their regular services so these one-time sales can really boost your profitability. The key to building and implementing a successful holiday marketing campaign is keeping it simple and focusing on services you already have on hand.

Write and Submit an Evergreen PR Piece Early in the Season
The best day for your local news station and paper to get news is a slow news day. Christmas and the day after are the two slowest news days of the year. Write an “evergreen” story – something with a timeless topic – and send it in now.  Reporters and editors love having a few stories in their file they can pull out on a slow news day.

One-time Deep Cleanings Before the Holiday
Starting at least 30 days before the holiday itself, target your market with seasonal messages about how you can help people reduce stress and enjoy the fun parts of holiday festivities.  Though many companies shy away from one-time cleanings, they are a wonderful way to introduce, not just the lifestyle convenience of cleaning, but also the measurable benefits of more free time and even enhanced health. That makes the one-time cleaning an opportunity to turn a shopper into a loyal, long-term client.

Push Special Holiday Service Upgrades
During the holidays, homeowners use their appliances, guest rooms and every available space more frequently than at any other time of the year, which makes it the perfect time for you to remind them that you can provide these services:

Evergreen Upgrade
– Oven Cleaning
– Refrigerator Cleaning
– Window Cleaning
– Carpet Cleaning
– Mattress Cleaning

Special Holiday Upgrades
– Silver Polishing
– Chandelier Cleaning
– Decoration Set up / Take down
– Christmas Tree Clean up and Removal

Don’t forget to make sure you have staff trained and available when your promotion begins so you are not scrambling or having to step out into the field yourself, especially on some of the specialty upgrades.

Spruce Up Your Gift Cards and Certificates

Gift cards or even old-fashioned printed Gift Certificates give people the chance to gift a friend or loved one with a special service that they would not normally use themselves.You might also consider bundling the gift card with a simple basket of holiday goodies – both general and perhaps specific to the recipient. A simple graphic or color change on the gift card or certificate helps to further personalize the gift and make the giver’s intentions known. And be sure to make gift cards or certificates easy to buy with online payments through PayPal or Google Checkout if you don’t have an online store on your website.

Promote One-time Deep Cleanings After the Holidays
Continue working the one-time cleanings to gather more new active leads in your net. After the holidays, focus your message on helping them clean up the mess and “get life back to normal” after their guests have gone. And don’t forget to sell your add-on services or upgrades.

As you work out the details in your campaign, be sure to confirm that your staffing and training schedule matches up with your launch dates. You want to have your staff trained and ready to work the day the promotions go out in emails and flyers so you are ready to say YES when customers call!

Derek Christian is the owner of My Maid Service with locations in Cincinnati, OH and Dallas, TX, as well as a business coach through Cleaning Business Builders and publisher of  Derek is now an investor in several cleaning companies including My Maid Service Dayton and Real World Services Columbus.  Derek is also a consultant for industry leaders Marvelous Maids and Castle Keepers.