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Article: Home Office for the Holidays
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Home Office for the Holidays by Shannan Hearne, http://www.SuccessPromotions.com  

The holidays are upon us, and retailers and e-tailers alike are predicting and hoping for record-breaking holiday sales. Those of us in home based businesses have to take special steps to ensure that our holiday sales reach our expectations. 

The first thing you must do is get into the holiday spirit. Believe it or not, attitude is still 90% of everything in life. And if you feel like Christmas, then you will market like Christmas and sell like Christmas. Burn holiday scented candles in your home office. Play Christmas music. Put a small lighted tree in your office where you can see and enjoy it. Send electronic Christmas cards starting right now. After all, our brick and mortar counter-parts put their holiday decorations up just before Christmas. Who says we have to wait until the day after Thanksgiving? And with Thanksgiving falling late this year, we must get ready now. 

Assuming that you are, by nature, a jolly old elf or elfin, the above step should be enough to get your home fires crackling and light a spark of mistletoe mischief. If not, you may also wish to drink wassail daily and egg nog on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. 

As an e-tailer, you, too, must put on your holiday finery to ensure that your holiday shoppers are in a fine buying spirit. Add trees, lights, and reindeer to your web site. And if you are politically correct, you may wish to throw in some of the holiday decor for other religions as well. Perhaps a little Christmas music online is appropriate for your web site. If so, add it quietly. Loud and obnoxious music will chase visitors away faster than Ebenezer Scrooge himself. If you don't normally offer gift wrap, add it as a special holiday feature so that shopping for out of town gift recipients is as easy as possible for your customers. This is also a special time to offer a free gift with all orders. Even if it is as simple as a small calendar, a votive candle, or even the mysterious reindeer dust (recipe below). 

Another helpful holiday habit is to provide Christmas links on your website. This, too, helps to put shoppers in the mood to spend money and encourages them to bookmark your site to return to check out all the other goodies you offer. Some sites I would suggest include: http://www.SantasPhoneCalls.com , http://www.Christmas.com , http://www.HowStuffWorks.com/christmas.htm , http://www.Merry-Christmas.com

We all know that this is the time of year when merchandisers kick into overdrive with their advertising and marketing efforts. And you must do the same. But you don't have to spend your entire 2003 ad budget to do it. Swap banners with other e-tailers. Join a flyer exchange like http://mompack.com . Run a small ad in a local newspaper or even break out of your home office and get a table at a flea market or a kiosk booth in a local mall. But whatever you do, make sure you make it easy for shoppers to find you. This is a good time to invest in ezine advertising. And solo ads work especially well. See http://www.UnitedWAHMsOfAmerica.com/solo_advertising.html

Since you have a lovely home office and its all decorated for the holidays, why not host a holiday drop in? Have samples of your products on display. Prepare some simple snacks. And open up your holiday home office to your neighbors for Christmas. You just might find that your very best customer lives right down the street. A cute take-home goodie you can offer would be Reindeer Dust, or Reindeer Poop (see below). 

Whatever you do, maintain a festive holiday mood. Remember to take time for yourself. Occasionally hang out under the mistletoe. And shake a little 

Reindeer Dust outside your front door as well on Christmas Eve. Reindeer Dust: In a small zip lock baggie insert colored crystal sugar, dried apple slices, nutmeg, cinnamon sticks, and cloves. Zip shut and attach a small card instructing the recipient to spread outside their door on Christmas Eve to ensure that Santa and his sleigh with eight tiny reindeer can find your home on his annual trip around the world. 

Reindeer Poop In a small zip lock baggie, place instant hot cocoa mix, miniature marshmallows, and a cinnamon stick. Seal the bag and attach a card reading, "When the Reindeer of Christmas poops in your yard, make holiday Ho Ho Cocoa with the enclosed Reindeer Poop". 

Shannan Hearne is the president and wizard of SuccessPromotions.com , and a regular jolly old elf. She splits her time working in and cleaning her holiday home office where soon pine tree needles will decorate the floor, music will play, and twinkling lights will adorn everything sturdy enough to hold them. Visit Shannan for all your online holiday marketing needs. Shannan Hearne President and Wizard http://www.SuccessPromotions.com Marketing Your e-Business Better Catch me on ICQ # 20240138