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By Carl Weinschenk

It's amazing how the time flies between Thanksgiving and the gift-giving holidays at the end of the year. One day, it's turkey, cranberry sauce and football and complaining that the Christmas commercials are beginning earlier each year, and the next day, it seems, December is almost gone.

At this point, it's a little too late to advise small businesses to better use email more effectively, improve their Websites or in other ways better harness the Internet during the holiday season. Rome and robust Web-centric sales and marketing tools weren't built in a day. If you didn't take heed, it's too late.

For those who feel they missed opportunities, however, it's not to late to do a survey of what competitors and analogous companies in are doing and take notes. You probably won't remember what struck you early next year when it's time to begin seriously planning new applications and platforms that are aimed at the next holiday selling season. Starting from scratch in July doesnít on holiday plans doesnít seem like a winning idea.

It also is a good time to look at companies that are slightly bigger or in some other way more advanced and see how they are using technology during this holiday season. The best teacher is experienceóand the second best teacher is other people's experience.

All signs are that this is a good holiday season for small businesses. For those who havenít taken the opportunity to do something different concerning their use of the Internet, it's too lateófor this year.

Carl Weinschenk is the Editorial Director of SmartBiz.
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