Now that it is December and snow has fallen in many places across the country, everyone is expecting great specials and deals at their favorite businesses. How you differentiate yourself with deals your competitors might not have thought of could be what sets you apart. Not doing anything outside of the norm, or, in the case of automotive dealerships, not doing anything other than your brand’s national deals, will only get you lost in the crowd.

ExtremeJohn.com, a site for small business advice in social media, said:

“I always run a month long promotion in my small business. I have a new feature every single day leading up until Christmas. I really feel like my clients enjoy the surprise factor, not knowing what tomorrow’s special offer will be, and it keeps them coming back for more every time!”

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Volkswagen Christmas Card

Several blog entries on the site lately have been about holiday deals and their importance in making customers feel both appreciated and as if your business is offering something unique and worthy of their attention. Countdowns can create a sense of limited supply, and is a great addition for holiday specials since consumers are counting down the days anyway.

PlumberSurplus.com, the ecommerce and entrepreneurship blog, gave these four tips for running a successful holiday promotion:

1. Embrace the Season
2. Give People What They Want
3. Be Original
4. Find Your Advantage

Offer discounts on oil changes before consumers start going off on those long family trips. Find your niche and reap the benefits.

A few ideas from Under30CEO are to offer contests, gift certificates specifically for the holidays, and consider hosting Santa Claus. Nothing brings in customers like the chance for their children to sit on Santa’s lap, especially if it means avoiding the long line at the mall. And check out the Volkswagen Christmas Card, a true holiday innovation.