If the holidays are a busy time for your business, you know how important the next few months will be. Buyers are expected to spend big this holiday season. As a business owner that means time is of the essence, and being a step ahead of the competition is crucial.
If November and December are your busiest season, these tips will help prepare you and your business for the holidays.
- Implement New Technology Now
The technology where consumers purchase goods and services is constantly changing. More and more are turning to e-commerce to lessen holiday hassles, and an increasing number are already captivated in using their mobile phones to pay.
So if you intend to venture into e-commerce or mobile payments, now is the time to get those systems up and running. Whether you are planning to upgrade your point-of-sales system or to your website, you should have those changes in place by early November. This will give ample time to debug errors and train employees on the new system.
- Pump up promotions
Promotions are one of the best ways to get shoppers excited about purchasing. Aside from the typical rush around traditional holidays, don’t forget the giant shopping days that kick off the season:
Black Friday – November 27th
Small Business Saturday – November 28th
Cyber Monday – November 30th
Consider a promotion that offers a discount in exchange for an email address. Email marketing still sustains to be the most effective with the highest conversion rate with a solid email list. Social media is also an obvious initial step. It doesn’t take a holiday. Plan a promotion schedule out – plotting what offers and channels will be promoted when. Start a blog if you don’t already have one. Just make sure you give potential customers a reason to act.
- Track Inventory
Having shelves stocked with inventory that is not moving is a loss. Pulling out last year’s sales statistics, owners can gauge the products that resonated best with customers and what didn’t do well. Be ready by having a plan to secure additional stocks quickly so that you can make sure you’re covered if selling are better than expected.
- Look after your team
Time is often in short supply during the holiday season. To ease the load, perhaps your store can allow a modified work schedule. Giving employees control of their work schedule whenever possible often motivates.
You should also keep a close eye on who’s taking time off and when as the thought of gathering and shopping can cause employees to be diverted, or lose interest as can going to work while their coworkers take vacation days. Develop a plan for vacation requests in advance, require a deadline, and follow an approval procedure that guarantees reasonable coverage during the prime vacation months.
Schedule also employee training sessions where you reinforce delivering excellent customer service. For example, it’s impossible to reiterate too often: “when you greet a customer, you are smiling, regardless of the type of day you are having.”
According to Eric Mosley, CEO of Globoforce, an employee recognition company, said that in workplace culture, the power of thanks is too often overlooked. Lastly, when it comes to what motivates employees, a paycheck may seem like the obvious answer.
- Decorate Your Windows and Store
Setting the right atmosphere during the holidays is vital to get everyone in the right spirit. Sprucing up your business with holiday decorations not only looks nice and fun but it will entice and bring cheer to clients, customers, and staff alike, to frequent your business. Just avoid a confusing mishmash of decorations and stick to a cohesive decorating theme. Make sure to check with your landlord for rules and regulations regarding your storefront glass.
Thanks so much for popping over the blog today and taking a minute to read this post! I hope it is impactful as we enter the holiday season! I would love to gain your insights as well, so please leave me a comment below if you have some additional strategies for getting through the holiday season! As a thank you for being one of my readers, I have a free gift for you! I believe you’ll get a lot out of it. If you haven’t claimed yours, go and grab it now for free! See you inside – I can’t wait to start working with you! We’re better together!