Christmas time is here! And so are all the warm and fuzzy family ads from brands you know and love as well as the toy commercials you attempt to hide from your children. Every big brand has a strategy to get your attention during the holidays but what about the small businesses? Often times, owners can get so busy with inventory and store decor that they forget to tell their customers why they should think of them during the busiest shopping season of the year. If you're in this boat, here's a quick checklist of things to consider when getting the word out. Even just doing one of these well could have a big impact on your bottom line this December!

Be Personal

When you live and work in a small community like many of us running small businesses do, people know you, who you are related to, and who you went to Prom with your Senior year of high school (ok maybe not, but it's not too far off!) Lean into that and get personal with people, share about your traditions, be honest and real about why you love your business and your customers. More likely than not, they'll return the same openness when they come visit your store.

Be Generous

Give something away, after all it's Christmas! Have people sign up for a drawing to win a gift basket, give 10% off certain hot items, donate a portion of proceeds to a charity. People want to know your business is willing to bend a little during this most wonderful time of the year. It's a win/win for everyone.

Be Consistent

Once you have a message people want to hear, it's so important to say it clearly across every platform you utilize. Whether that is flyers, your website, Facebook, Instagram, email campaigns, everything must have the same look and voice. Repetition is key here or you'll get lost in the noise.

Be Prepared

There's nothing worse than spending all those ad dollars getting customers in the door then not have enough of what they came in for. If you plan to promote a particular set of items, make sure you have plenty to meet demand! If you plan for an open house, be sure to have more than enough food for your guests. Check every detail and leave nothing to chance. This may be your only shot to make a good impression on new and potential customers.

The #ShopSmall movement just celebrated it's 7th Small Business Saturday this past weekend. This is the direction our culture is moving right now! There's no better time to be a small business owner so take advantage of it! People want to support their local businesses. During this holiday season, make sure they put you on their shopping list!