By Chelsea Duggan

The great thing about elves is that they have a way of thinking of everything. Packages big or small take on great proportion because they meet the needs of your customer. Why not brainstorm like an elf with these thoughts in mind?

Expanding your business doesn’t have to be daunting if you break it down. What is a natural next step from what you’re currently selling?  If you’ve sold one book than sell a second book. The ability to expand your offerings within your current category is a great way for your fans to get to know you better.

What would make your customer’s experience easier, better, or more fun?

For example, if you’re selling a book consider additional information in the form of e-books, a webinar or a personal conversation with the author. If you’re selling an amazing dress, consider the accessories that would go along with it. If you’re not sure what comes next, consider hosting a Facebook contest and giving away a free item that you currently sell in exchange for fans commenting on what they’d like to see offered next.

Where do you do most of your marketing? If you go to tradeshows, you might want some smaller ticket promotional items to sell alongside your mainstays. Consider a reading light or bookmark to go along with that book. Remember, elves are great at thinking of all of the details and not missing a great gift-giving opportunity. This might come in the form of packaging or as special discounts for multiple purchases.

You could also consider the charitable option. Partner with local charities and offer for your customers to tack on an additional dollar that you will then donate. This feel-good option doesn’t net you any additional cash but it does create a positive experience that might help you keep your head up as you work to build your business.

The great thing about your business is that you can monetize it in so many ways. Consider the mixes and matches that make so many things better like latte and gingerbread, evergreen wreaths and bows, and sleds and snow. Just like you’ve checked your list twice, keep brainstorming and finding ways to add extra value to your customer’s pockets. Besides, you don’t want to be outdone by an elf.

Chelsea Duggan:: An entrepreneur, parent and advocate for early childhood development through creative education, Chelsea Duggan is the Founder and Director of Milestar Babies. This innovative online resource enables busy parents to have an influential impact on newborn children, up to three years in age. Chelsea’s background in education – a passion she shares with her two children, so they themselves can enjoy a lifelong interest in learning – is at the center of Milestar Babies. That commitment to excellence starts with shared moments and teacher-designed lessons, which parents can further customize, so children can discover, synthesize and pursue their own discoveries. Chelsea believes that every child is an amazing individual, who deserves to learn at his or her own pace. This kid-tested, parent-approved philosophy is Chelsea’s distinctive concept, complemented by the convenience of the Internet and her dynamic site. A graduate of Northwestern and a member of the Chicago Women Entrepreneurs Network, Chelsea welcomes the opportunity to interact with parents and children throughout the nation and the world.