How Small Businesses Can Prepare for the Holiday Season
The holiday season is a great time to grow the success of your company. With more people looking to buy, more eyes are prone to small businesses such as yours.
Autumn can be both a blessing and a curse when it comes to owning a business. While many are beginning to plan their holiday success, others are still caught up in everything the seasonal change brings - school starting, summer ending, etc.
Don’t let yourself get caught up in the wrong fall routine! Now is the time to begin planning for those big sales you plan to make by the end of the year.
Throughout this blog, we offer six tips for how you can reach success this holiday season.
1.) CREATE A HOLIDAY SCHEDULE
The holidays are a hectic time for everyone. Just as you’re trying to expand your hours, your employees are going to be looking for time off.
Make sure to be ahead of the game and create a holiday schedule. The purpose of this schedule should be to:
Plan out when you’ll be open and closed.
Decide whether or not you want to be open longer than usual.
Discuss your holiday hours with your staff.
Take into consideration when they’ll be asking for time off.
With the right kind of schedule, all of the following tips will come with much smoother ease.
2.) START ORDERING SUPPLIES
Did you have experience with last year’s holiday season? If so, you’re one step ahead of all your newcomer competition. You know exactly what you’re going to need in terms of supplies.
Everything from special gift cards to supplies and packaging to the amount of toilet paper you’ll need in your restroom. All of these things have a cost and with experience in last year’s sales, you can really get a sense of what you’re going to need.
If this is your first holiday season, we highly suggest you start asking other businesses about their experiences. This kind of networking can make you prepared for the chaos that is bound to ensue.
Remember, the importance of prepping with supplies is for the sake of your customers. People who purchase from you are going to want your products/services in a timely manner (usually before the big December 25th). Orders are bound to get hectic and, with that, so are your supplies.
Prepare ahead and make sure you have everything you need before the season hits.
3.) BE SURE TO STOCK EXTRA INVENTORY
With our last point, it’s always good to stock extra inventory. Most business owners do so as it’s expected they’ll make more sales during the holiday season. However, even if sales don’t quite meet the inventory you have in stock, you can always promote an after Christmas (or a New Year) sale that can give your company another boost.
Remember, your suppliers are also busy trying to provide their other clients with extra stock. If you order way ahead of time, you can guarantee your products will be there when things get rolling.
Set deadlines for your company. These deadlines will ensure when you need your products and how much you’ll need. As long as you stick true to these deadlines, we promise this holiday season won’t be as crazy as it has to be.
4.) KEEP UP WITH YOUR WEBSITE
With online shopping as all the rage, people want to click on a website that has that “holiday season” atmosphere. Think about it this way - when you walk into a store during the holidays, isn’t it nice to see all the decorations and cute, little additions the store has added?
This kind of experience entices customer’s to stay and continue looking through your products. And they expect this kind of experience even through the internet.
So, a few tips for sprucing up your website this holiday season:
Make sure your design is tidy, simple to use, and - most importantly - festive
Make it easy for customers to find your most popular products and services
Make sure your eCommerce checkout works smoothly
The easier it is to use your website, the more likely a customer will stay on this page. We suggest getting a staff member or trusted friend to browse around your final design and give you some pointers on what you can do better.
5.) HAVE SOME FUN AND DECORATE
If you have a physical storefront, this is the time to reel in eyes. A festively decorative store is always more enticing than one that remains the same year-round. So, don’t be afraid to get creative with your holiday decorations.
In fact, it’s a great way to get your staff further involved in your company. Make a plan to decorate the store either in the early morning or late night and watch your business take on a new personality within hours.
6.) START A NEW MARKETING CAMPAIGN
The holiday season is without a doubt one of the most competitive times of the year. Due to this, many companies take on a marketing campaign for the sake of this season alone.
You’ve gotta ask yourself, why should customers want to buy their holiday presents at your company?
There are a number of different tactics you can take - all of which should be personal to both your business and where you’re located. At the end of the day, you want to make sure your holiday marketing campaign makes your business stand out amongst the growing numbers of competition.
We hope our tips have given you some relief for what to expect this upcoming season. Of course, the holiday season is always a hectic time for business owners. But it can also be a great time to really rack in sales.
By preparing yourself before the big rush, you’re not only making the job easier for you and your team - you’re giving yourself the opportunity to be one step ahead of your competition.