Yes, Small Business Owners, There is a Holiday Season

It’s our favorite time of year at CCC. The holidays bring so much joy and cheer — fun festivities, beautiful decorations and spending time with family and friends. How do you take part while still running your business?

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas... Are you in the holiday spirit?

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Ev’rywhere you go;
Take a look in the five-and-ten, glistening once again
With candy canes and silver lanes aglow.”

Choose your favorite parts

You can’t do everything, so you have to choose. Which parts of the holidays do you enjoy most? Festive activities? Attend local shows and community events. Decorating in style? Spend time making your home shine. Buying the perfect gifts for loved ones? Dedicate your time to shopping for those you hold dear. Whatever areas you choose, be present. Don’t be worrying about your business or what you’re not doing while enjoying your favorite parts of the holiday season.

For example, I decided not to decorate this year. I’m not a Scrooge; I wanted to focus on taking advantage of all of the fun activities this time of year — ice skating, craft/art shows, tree lightings, parades, etc. — and shopping/baking for others, which I love to do. There’s no wrong answer here. Just make a decision and run with it!

How to Guiltlessly Take Time Off to Enjoy the Best Holiday Season Ever

Be smart about running your business 

Yes, you need to continue to run your business during the holidays, but scale back when possible. Commit to specific projects or tasks and focus on completing them within specified time periods. Don’t try to double your growth or take on herculean tasks — especially at this time of year. It’s OK to focus on outside interests and not obsess about your business once in awhile. You may even find that it will make you a better business owner, boss and person.

I’ve been busy this week finishing tasks and meeting deadlines in addition to handling a normal workload. However, I haven’t started new projects or worried about tackling to-dos that can easily be moved to next week, so I can enjoy the wonders of the season.

Time to set limits: Business owners suffer tech overload

Set boundaries and let others know about them

Are you working limited hours throughout the season or on specific days? Let clients and prospective customers know up front, and work with them to plan accordingly. You may be surprised that others want to enjoy the season too and understand that you’re closing up shop to attend your kids’ concert or preserve your family’s tradition of a special day out together. Remember to update your Facebook page, website or other domains where you list hours of availability.

As a small business owner, you may feel the need to check in, which I understand. You can do that without spending the day glued to your phone or working away in another room while everyone else enjoys the festivities. Don’t spend this magical season watching everyone else reconnect, recharge and have a good time. You’ll enter the new year with a case of the holiday blues instead of relaxed, rested and ready to go.

How do you balance your business and life during the holiday season?
What are your favorite holiday traditions?

Enjoy the magic and wonder of the holiday season!

Happy Hanukkah * Merry Christmas * Happy Boxing Day * Happy Kwanzaa

CCC’s Head Elf,
Jaime

Let’s chat (about your holiday traditions, marketing needs or otherwise):
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Enjoy the Most Magical Time of the Year

It’s Christmas — the most magical time of the year! 

Merry Christmas from CCC!

Enjoy it! Unplug if you can. Have conversations with friends and family and give them your undivided attention. Catch up with relatives you haven’t seen. Relax. Have that slice of pie or glass of wine that you might normally skip. In other words, have fun and enjoy the most magical time of the year!

I’ll be chowing down on lasagna, homemade applesauce and peanut butter cream pie. Watching my family open their gifts (that I tapped into my marketing know-how to pick out). Laughing a lot. Discussing off-beat topics. Enjoying the wonder of my nephew’s first Christmas.

Thank you to all of our soldiers and first responders who spend the Holidays away from their families. We appreciate your sacrifice!

How do you celebrate Christmas?

Merry Christmas!
Jaime & the CCC crew

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6 Things All Businesses Should Do Over Christmas

It’s that time! The Holiday selling season is upon us…

Christmas is a stressful time for both businesses and customers. Businesses worry about losing customers during this hectic season, and customers worry about getting everything done on their lengthy to-do lists. Sure, some businesses will pick up customers as everybody is in a mad rush to buy presents. However, others can lose out to companies with better marketing strategies if they’re not on the ball.

Here are things all businesses should do over Christmas:

Offer A Discount

You might not think that offering a discount is a smart move over Christmas. After all, you have the potential to make a lot more money here. However, there’s nothing really stopping a customer from heading to a competitor for their needs. If you offer a discount, you’re giving them an incentive to continue coming to you. You could even offer the discount exclusively to loyal customers to show them you care.

Send Free Gifts

Why not get in the Christmas spirit and send your customers free gifts? You could send them a free thank you gift off your own back, or send them a free gift with their order, whatever you feel most suitable. It doesn’t have to be a Christmas themed gift to be effective. You could even make it a sample version of one of your products, or a voucher to use against a service you offer.

Run Competitions

Run competitions over Christmas to get people interested in your business. You can do this both offline and online, or one or the other. Do it wherever you feel you’ll get the most response. Holding competitions online can really help you to expand your reach and exposure. People love the opportunity to win stuff, so create a fun Christmas competition for them to get involved with.

Send Cards to Customers

Sending cards to your customers both old and new shows them that you value them. It also helps to keep you in the forefront of their minds, so that they don’t completely forget about you at this time of year. The most effective way to do it is to send business ecards. Then you can send a discount along with the card and monitor your efforts too. You’ll be able to see exactly how many people interact with your ecard, and it’s more eco-friendly!

Create Christmas Landing Pages for Your Site

Creating Christmas landing pages on your site shows that you keep it up to date. A page like this will be more engaging to Christmas shoppers. People start Christmas shopping as early as September these days, so don’t waste any time!

Promote on Social Media

Don’t forget to use social media to promote your Christmas offers and engage with shoppers. Don’t shove your offers down their throats, but make sure your online marketing strategy is on point.

All businesses should make sure they do these things over Christmas. If you do, you’ll increase your revenue and be much more successful in retaining your clients (and even adding new ones). Make sure your marketing is in the Christmas spirit, and you’ll have a great start to the New Year!

Holiday Marketing Feedback

Are you looking forward to the Holidays?

How early do you start your Holiday selling (or shopping) season?

Do you prefer printed cards or ecards?

Happy Holiday selling,
Jaime

Let’s chat (about Holiday marketing, the magic of Christmas or otherwise):
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‘Twas the Night Before Christmas (Almost)

Merry Christmas from CCC!

A Visit from St. Nicholas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.
And Mama in her ‘kerchief and I in my cap,
had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow,
gave the lustre of midday to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear
but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment he must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers* they came,
and he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name:

“Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer!
Now Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! On, Cupid!
On Donner and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch!
To the top of the wall!

Now dash away! Dash away!
Dash away all!”

As leaves that before the wild hurricanes fly,
when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
so up to the house top, the coursers, they flew
with the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.  

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes — how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
and the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
and the smoke, it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly
that shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly. 

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head
soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
and filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
and giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
and away they all flew like the down of a thistle. 
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight — 

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

-Clement Clarke Moore**

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to all of our loyal readers and supporters! Thank you for all of your likes, comments and shares in 2014. We appreciate every one of you and look forward to a tremendous 2015.

How are you spending the Holidays?

*What’s a courser? A swift horse, a charger.
**Some scholars now believe that Major Henry Livingston, Jr. wrote this popular poem.

CCC's head elf

Your favorite elf,
Jaime

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Christmas: A Tradition Like No Other

Merry Christmas, baby!

Merry Christmas to you and yours from Clearly Conveyed Communications! A heartfelt thank you for reading the musings on the CCC blog while taking the time to like, comment on and share our posts. We appreciate you, dear reader!

So it’s another Christmas Eve, and I find myself taking comfort in Holiday traditions, some new and some old. Every year for what seems like eons, we’ve converged on my great Aunt & Uncle’s home with scores of other family and friends to celebrate another year. It’s fun, loud and slightly chaotic, but always a good time. This is in direct contrast to the peaceful, soothing Christmas Eve service I look forward to every year at the church I grew up attending. Singing Silent Night in a candlelit church is an amazing experience that always leaves me with goose bumps.

Other traditions in our household:

  • A Christmas Story — my favorite Holiday movie which I have to watch each year (preferably more than once). I finally picked up a copy last week, so now I can watch it the whole year through. This is a Holiday must. I triple dog dare you!
  • Leg Lamp Cookies — one day I saw a leg lamp cookie cutout and it was on. Now I bring Holiday delight to Christmas each year in the form of the best lamp ever. (I even blogged about it –> What Making Leg Lamp Cookies Taught Me About My Business)
  • Nativity Scene — my little kids nativity scene is one of my favorite decorations (bottom right hand corner of above pic). I bought it when I lived in my first apartment, so it’s been a part of my life for a *few* years now. Makes me smile whenever I see it.
  • Christmas Cards — I love cards! I know it’s old school, but I still send people cards and love to receive them. It’s a rarity today to receive a handwritten card, so I even send them for my business. They’re a lot of work but worth it!
  • Christmas Tree — I love my white tree, it’s bright light and all of the ornaments I hang each year. From Big Ben to Cabbage Patch Kids, homemade and store bought, all have special memories. This tree will always hold a special place in my heart.

I’ll leave you with this… If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by. We’re the ones with the leg lamp in the window.

leg lamp

It’s FRA-GI-LE. Must be Italian!

What Christmas traditions do you enjoy?

p.s. We appreciate ALL of our readers. If you do not celebrate Christmas, a belated Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa or enjoy the Holiday season however you choose to do so. Cheers!

Santa’s top elf,
Jaime

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