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bank holidays

Warning: bank holidays could ruin your business

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Did you know we get eight bank holidays a year? For business owners, this rarely means days off. Whether you’re open or not, with some time spent upfront on what you want to achieve, you can make bank holidays work for you. Here are six ways you can make the most of the remaining bank holidays.

Plan ahead

If you know me, you won’t be surprised that this is the first thing. Bank holidays are announced in advance, so planning ahead is easy. And you don’t have to dedicate special time to this – make it part of your overall marketing plan. If you don’t know where to get started, I wrote about this in an earlier post.

Whatever type of business you have, knowing what you want to achieve during the bank holidays ahead of time makes it easier to do the doing and lessens the stress. As the saying goes, have a plan, Stan. (I may have taken some artistic liberty there!)

How can you be useful…

…to your customers? We all know that bank holidays can result in unusual opening hours, or even have an impact on orders and deliveries. Whatever the situation with your business over the bank holidays, make sure your customers know. Update your website with special opening hours, send out an email letting your list know, post updates on social media. Communicate as much as possible about the impact of the bank holidays on your customers. They will appreciate it and you will avoid having lots of disappointed customers.

Schedule all your social media

You’re busy at the best of times, but if bank holidays are an even crazier time for your business, make sure you schedule all your social media ahead of time. There are some great tools you can use to do this.

  • Facebook has its own scheduling tool. Use this if Facebook is the only social channel your business uses.
  • Hootsuite will help you schedule posts on multiple social channels. What’s more, there’s a free version, which is plenty good enough for most businesses.
  • Buffer is another scheduling tool you can use if you have multiple social channels. Again, there is a free version, which works well for most businesses.
  • If you use Constant Contact, why not do it all in one place? Plus, you can make changes on the fly on their mobile app.

Whatever tools you use to help you automate your social media, make the most of them before busy periods, like bank holidays, to give you a bit of breathing space.

Run a sale or promotion

Bank holidays, especially sunny ones, mean people are out and about more. Use this opportunity to have a sale or run a promotion. If you have a physical location for your business, chances are you’ll want to increase footfall during bank holidays. And a special offer is a great way to do that. Whether it’s 25% off or a free gift on purchase of a product, you’re limited by your own imagination.

If you’re a business that sells to other businesses, there’s no reason you can’t use bank holidays to run promotions either. You just have to make them appropriate for your audience. For example, why not launch your promotion on a bank holiday and email your list and promote on social media.? Your audience is still online, even though it’s a day off.

Whatever you decide to do, make sure you communicate it well, and in advance.

Open up your doors

Having an event is a great way to make sure your business makes the most out of bank holidays. This works particularly well for retailers. Here are some ideas:

  • Run a special workshop to educate your customers. For example, if you’re a greengrocer, you could run a workshop about why people should eat more seasonal produce.
  • Organise a family fun day. This is great for businesses like garden centres. It encourages families to visit and parents to shop!
  • Run regular product demos throughout the day. This could be for your best-selling products or even for your not-so-great sellers.
  • Have an open house. There’s no need for any special activities. Offer drinks and nibbles and get to know your customers.

Do some business DIY

Bank holidays are made for DIY. But if you’ve seen enough paint or shelves for one bank holiday, move your DIY focus to your business. For some business owners, bank holidays can be some of their quieter times. That’s no bad thing if you need to catch up on everything to do with your running your business. What better time to go make that marketing plan for the rest of the year? Or, even go revisit your marketing budget and update it? (If you don’t know where to start creating a marketing budget, read this post.) Whatever business admin you need to do, bank holidays can be the perfect time to give you that focus.

However you choose to spend your bank holidays (if you’re the business owner, I bet you’re working), with a little forward planning, you can achieve your goals and maybe enjoy a bit of well-earned downtime too!

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