Holiday Marketing and Prep on a Budget - Accion Opportunity Fund
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Holiday Marketing and Prep on a Budget

In this webinar, we will explore budget-friendly best practices for holiday marketing and preparation for small business owners.


The holiday season can be a busy and lucrative time for small businesses, but it can also put a strain on resources and finances. In this webinar, we will explore budget-friendly best practices for holiday marketing and preparation for small business owners. Topics covered include:

  • Inventory management and storage solutions for the holiday season
  • Streamlining operations to maximize efficiency and minimize costs
  • Cash flow management and budgeting strategies for the holiday season
  • Creative and cost-effective marketing ideas for the holidays

By the end of this webinar, small business owners will have a comprehensive plan for navigating the holiday season with confidence and success, while keeping costs under control. Join Accion Opportunity Fund and Fifth Third Bank for an informative and interactive session, and learn how to make the most of the holiday season for your business.


Meet the Experts:

Desha Elliott

Desha has a successful track record of consulting on business development, strategic partnerships, and digital marketing for both growth stage and established companies. Her current role as Local Market Manager for Accion Opportunity Fund bridges community and corporate partnerships and resources to small businesses.

In addition to working in finance, Desha spent ten years in media and tech. She was Editor-In-Chief of nationally distributed Be Your Own Success Story Magazine and winner of the Celebration Bowl Hackathon for her edutech company, PB7App.

Desha’s leadership in business development for early and growth stage businesses yielded opportunities for multinational expansion and brand partnerships. Her leadership and strategy have been demonstrated with international corporations- AcidPro, Reebok, Cargill, just to name a few. She is the author of Hi, My Name Is, a marketing guide for entrepreneurs. Her thought leadership and business advising impact has been highlighted in NerdWallet, Black Enterprise, NBC, CBS, and more.

She is an alumna of Northern Kentucky University and Strayer University, as well as a current PhD student in the Whitney M. Young, Jr. School of Social Work.


Jacquelyn Rodgers

Backed by her fourteen years of consumer packaged goods experience, Jacquelyn Rodgers founded Greentop Gifts with a purpose: to create products that represent what the holidays look like for Black and Brown families. Jacquelyn and Greentop Gifts have been leading the charge of diversity in classic holiday imagery, and have gone on to be recognized as one of the 2021 Google for Startups Black Founders Fund recipients, a 2021 FedEx Small Business Grant Winner, and an NFLPA Playmaker. Since its launch, Greentop Gifts has received notable media attention from numerous outlets, including Essence, O, The Oprah Magazine, Good Housekeeping, and People. Jacquelyn embarked on her entrepreneurial journey in order to add much-needed diversity and representation to consumer goods. She uses CAU’s motto daily of “Find a Way or Make One” as she continues to grow her company. Jacquelyn holds a BA in Business Administration from Clark Atlanta University. She currently serves as a mentor for Atlanta Techstars. She is married to Shaun Rodgers and together they have an 8-year-old son Kenneth Elijah and 3-year old daughter Cameron Ellis.


Why Should You Prep for the Holidays?

Jacquelyn jokes that the earlier you prep, the less of a grinch you will be come the holiday season. The more prep you do in advance, the less room there is for error in your business plan and the more room for sales.

Desha reminds us that competition is at its peak during the holiday season, so you need to start your marketing efforts early. The goal of marketing communications is to remind your current customers why they are your customers. They also give you the opportunity to reach new customers with strategic, well timed marketing campaigns


How Should You Prep for the Holidays?

  • Analyze past data to understand past demand
  • Look at your competitors if you don’t have past data of your own or to gain a deep understanding of the market
  • Build in buffer time for importing or shipping your supplies and for shipping your products to customers
  • Create and schedule your strategic marketing campaign well in advance so that you can focus on sales and operations during the holiday season.

What are Key Marketing Trends for Holiday Sales?

The 3 Cs of holiday marketing are:

  • Consistency: Consistency across all platforms and interactions. Your branding needs to be seamless and consistent in emails, in-person interactions, social media, website, etc.
  • Customization: Personalize your messages. Leverage your customer data to personal messages for customers based on their previous purchases. For example, don’t market your new dog treats to a cat lover if you can help it.
  • Collaboration: Collaborate with other brands that have similar audiences. Pool your email lists and social audiences for a small giveaway. As a start-up brand, you often don’t have an unlimited marketing budget, so you have to get creative.

What are Some Low-Cost Marketing Techniques?

Use the audience and communities that you have to show real people using your product. Don’t be afraid to ask your communities for their support for your product. Even if they aren’t buying your product directly, a post on social media or a photo of them using your product can go a long way towards creating an authentic brand.

Connect with your target customers however you can. Building brand awareness and connection is key for building a strong customer base who will come back to your brand again and again.


How to Have a Successful Holiday Season?

  • Start Early: Look at past data, learn what what you did well and what you didn’t do well.
  • Set-Up: Have a plan, write it down, and execute it. Make sure you are well prepared before the stress of a holiday season hits you.
  • Simplify: The plan needs to well thought out, but simple. Any member of your team should be able to execute your marketing plan- including you when you are feeling the holiday time-crunch
  • Shipping: Get to know your local shipping tea. Nurture a relationship with the folks around you because once the holidays hit, you might need a favor. Maintaining those relationships year round will help when the holiday crunch hits. Get their contact information if you can and build a rapport with them.

When to Prep for the Holidays?

Know your busy season. For many businesses, the winter holidays are one of the busiest times of the year, but from others, different holidays or seasons are busier.

If your busy holiday season is in December, major retailers are usually planning for December in the Spring (about 8 months ahead of time).  If you are planning to work with any major retailers, you need to work with them on their schedule. Smaller retailers will begin planning in August (about 4 months ahead). Work with your suppliers as early as you can to avoid delays and increased costs.

Prep your marketing materials, at minimum, 3 months ahead of any busy holiday season. The further ahead you can plan, the better. Use smaller holidays throughout the year to test your holiday marketing strategy and adjust before your biggest holiday of the year.



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