October begins a period when some retailers make as much as 30% of their yearly sales numbers. Last year 7.4 billion dollars was spent on Halloween followed by Thanksgiving and Black Friday which generated over 2.5 billion in revenue. According to Forrester Research, retail e-commerce numbers approached 130 billion across the U.S and Europe.
To gain insight on how savvy entrepreneurs can make this lucrative period benefit them, I decided to talk to Norm Bond, author of Make Money Online with Holiday Marketing.
LH- Global Entrepreneurship Week will be celebrated this year from November 16-22, with 140 countries participating. What do you see driving this interest?
NB- Well the number one business model in the world is still "to own your own business". It's the formula for building generational wealth, manifesting your passion and making an impact on the world.
There are a couple of things I believe driving the increased interest in entrepreneurship. One is the global economic crisis and the increased uncertainty of maintaining a job.
Second, there are more tools today to support entrepreneurship than ever before. Technology gives us the ability to communicate more readily. We can create and bring ideas to life more easily. And we can find collaborative partners from around the globe. I'm sure Global Entrepreneurship Week is benefiting from these dynamics.
LH -There certainly seems to be a lot of resources out there but I don't recall seeing anything like your book. What inspired you to write it?
NB-Holiday marketing is an industry that a lot of people don't pay attention to and it's actually an opportunity to market year-round. As we're coming into the fourth quarter, the biggest holiday time of the year, I wanted to put out a tool to help people. And holiday marketing as well as making money online are always two big topics this time of the year. So I brought those two areas together in this book.
LH-Norm I know that you're a successful entrepreneur. Who inspired you?
Norm-My initial inspiration was my uncle who owned several mom-and-pop shops in Philadelphia. I worked for him several years while I was in high school.
Once I got into college and obtained my business and economics degree I was exposed to a number of other entrepreneurs who motivated me. Particularly Reginald F. Lewis who created a billion-dollar business empire when he acquired Beatrice Foods. I really enjoyed his book "Why should white guys have all the fun?" And later I got to interview and become friends with his wife Loida when I published a magazine myself.
I also was inspired by John Johnson, founder of Ebony and Earl Graves of Black Enterprise who I also got to meet. It seemed I was drawn to entrepreneurs in the mass communications, media and publishing industries in particular.
LH-You were in the company of legends. What lessons did you learn from them?
NB-I think the biggest lesson for me is to remain focused on your goal. It is a common denominator amongst all those entrepreneurs I mentioned. In spite of the obstacles and challenges, during the good days and the bad you have to maintain the focus and commitment to your vision. That I'd say is the number one trait for success in entrepreneurship.
LH-Right now there are a lot of people who hold day jobs but are thinking about leaving to become an entrepreneur. What are your thoughts on that?
Norm-Well, the grass always looks greener on the other side; and sometimes that grass is AstroTurf. So I would say do your research. When you have a job, often your day is planned out for you. When you work for yourself you have to be your best employer and employee.
LH-Perhaps a part time gig would be the way to start?
NB-My book has a section that talks about freelancing. When people think of holiday marketing often they think of big box stores like Target or Walmart, even Amazon. However even if you don't have your own business you can be an affiliate. You can work with a vendor who creates their own products.
There are a lot of ways to make money by freelancing your skills like building a website, writing or creating videos. There's also a lot of ways to find small jobs on websites like Fiverr and Click Chores. In addition jobs like house-sitting and pet-sitting are much needed during the holiday season. Some people end up really enjoying using their skills on these types of jobs. You have to be careful though because your moonlight might become your sunlight.
LH-Norm what do you want people to get from reading your book?
NB - I want people to discover a way to expand their ability to generate income from doing something that they love and also open up new ideas. The book looks at holidays observed around the world. They're a cultural and global phenomenon. So you can build a 12-month calendar and pick the holidays which most appeal to you. Then find different ways to connect and market your products and services as a business owner, freelancer or affiliate.
If you get started early you can enjoy the holidays and put more money in the bank.