The most expensive season of the year is upon us. Gifts for everyone!
Spending time with family and friends is important throughout the season. Spending money to impress or please someone when you don’t really have the money to do so is what causes people to stress with debt and go broke and in some cases put themselves or their business in crisis.
There are a few ways to prevent going broke during the holiday season.
1. Get a raise or get more clients. If you want to spend more money on gifts then make more money by getting a raise in your job. Or as an entrepreneur you need to get new and renewing clients.
Yes, you want to ask for the sale and get more work done in your business, but don’t get distracted just because the holiday season is here. Want to spend more time with friends and family? Work a full half day. Don’t allow yourself to get distracted. Send the emails, pick up the phone and make more sales.
2. Create a product that can be given as a gift. What do you have that can be bought from you as a gift for someone else? Nothing you say? Bah Humbug! Come up with something that your customer can purchase and give as a gift.
3. Create a membership program, a group coaching program, a training on Zoom for 90 minutes, or something that can be transferred from the buyer to the gift receiver. There are some great simple things that others may purchase from you that if you ask correctly or market correctly will increase your sales. Make a T-shirt with a saying that is unique to your business and give people the chance to remember you all year long. Get creative for your business and find something that can be given and increase some income too.
4. Get current clients to prepay for services into next year. Invite your current or past clients to prepay for services using this year’s prices. “Get this year’s prices locked in before the prices increase. If they purchase from you for advanced services then you can send a gift to someone else on their behalf. An example is: If your client purchases services from you of $1000 or more (paid in full) send a gift on their behalf to someone of their choice (pre-purchased audiobooks, a Cutco knife, movie tickets, show tickets, dinner around their town.)
5. Don’t send out gifts in the hope of a sale. Send a thank you gift within your budget and to the people who have already invested in you and your business. A simple card saying thank you that is handwritten is always a great start. Stand out from the crowd and send a” Start Your New Year Off Right” card or thank you gift.
6. Your time is valuable so give it as a gift instead of going broke. Invite past clients to a no-cost Jump Start Your New Year zoom/call. Send an email the day before Christmas Eve so they can open the gift for the holiday and use the gift in the New Year and it costs only your time.
7. Set a budget for spending and stick to it! Don’t buy people what you want to buy them, instead buy what they need or want. Keep it simple and specific. Don’t get caught up in “buy one get one” deals. Check online and see if it truly is a deal. Most of the time it is not. How much will you spend? Divide that by how many people you are buying for and that is your budget. If you go over the price, do not add more to the budget, take it from the rest. Yes, that is how a budget works. Only charge on your credit card what you can pay off in one to two months. After that, the interest rate is too high and it won’t be worth it.
I could tell you to make your own gifts but let’s be real, my husband once spent thirty-six dollars on the supplies to make me Valentine’s card. He said it was the most expensive card he has ever bought. Besides the supplies, he put in a couple of hours of time, and to this day that card is still on my dresser because he said: “for that price, it needs to be around for a long time”. If you want to make gifts, you have to start early and plan it out so you don’t go broke and put too much time into it and distract yourself from creating more sales in your business during the holiday season.
Have you noticed that people are craving attention? Schedule Zoom calls with your family and spend time with them for the Holidays. There is a lot that you can do as a gift that doesn’t have to cost you extra money. Plan ahead and put together a mug, some coffee, tea, or hot cocoa and send it out with an invitation to join you for some talk and a warm mug or something. Years ago it was sitting on the front porch with ice tea. Modernize that with the season and technology and save some money and give people what they are craving for, quality time with you.
Sure, everyone wants a great gift but a gift does not have to be something you bought off the shelf and sent. There are so many other options than going into debt and causing more stress and chaos for yourself.
Final words of wisdom to help you from going broke.
· Don’t shop while you are drinking. You will spend more!
· If you shop with girlfriends, tell each other your budget upfront so you don’t get caught up in the pressure to “outdo” what she is doing. Competition can ruin your budget fast.
· You can buy cheaper than on Amazon Prime. If you want to spend more in your budget then work a little harder and buy it locally.
· Gifts that keep on giving make the moment last longer. Pot pie of the month club (from a hallmark movie) is a great way to stretch out your gift. Food is always something most people are grateful for.
Most importantly is to enjoy your season and the season after by staying out of major debt and working your business all the way through the year. Set yourself up for success and you can give gifts all year round.