Holiday Networking 101 for Small Business Owners

Ah, December - the month of socializing to the extreme! Between the office parties, family gatherings, craft fairs/markets and school holiday programs, December allows for a plethora of networking opportunities for small business owners to market your businesses and to promote the great success the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program has had on your company. Here are my top five ways you can network your way to a new year!

  1. Dashing Through the Local Chamber Events - Check out your local Chamber of Commerce to see if they host any small business events for the community. At times there may be an opportunity for you to sponsor part of the event for the Chamber. For example, your company can participate in a local tree lightening ceremony sponsoring the hot chocolate sold at the event. Having a community connection can really increase the visibility of your company to your local customers.

  • Fa La La La La - Social Media Flash Sales - Starting with Black Friday, flash sales via social media are a great way to share deals and promotions with your customers. Try something catching like "The 12 Days of Christmas" and feature a different product or service each day. Or you can feature one of your staff members on your Facebook page to highlight what their role is in your company and how they can assist your clients.
  • A Sleigh Ride Full of Promotional Holiday Gifts - One way you can feed your sales funnel is by offering a raffle. Collecting business cards of clients can a) allow you the opportunity to update your mailing lists and b) create a new pipeline of potential clients. Keep in mind, business cards can be submitted virtually when people take a photo of their business card and email it to your office.
  • Decking the Halls, NASCAR Style - Just like a NASCAR vehicle is decked out in decals of all their sponsors, make sure you're always decked out in your company logo. Make sure that if you're attending a local event, you're wearing your business polo, have your business cards in check and promotional pens ready to pass out. Also, have your elevator pitch statement ready to go so when someone asks about your company, you have a well-rehearsed statement prepared so you can explain who you are and what your company does.
  • Have Yourself a Merry Little Greeting - Send a unique holiday message to your clients to spread your office greeting of good cheer for the New Year. Be creative, as many email messages may get overlooked this time of year. Maybe a Jib Jab greeting or a video message to all your clients. Also, don't forget to send actual holiday cards via snail mail, which many offices don't do that often anymore but can make a great impact on your clients, especially if a coupon is enclosed.
  • This blogger is an administrator of Goldman Sachs' 10,000 Small Businesses program. Goldman Sachs is a partner of the What Is Working: Small Businesses section.