7 Tips To Prepare Your Business For The Holiday Season
HO! HO! Christmas Business Strategies to make your business grow!!
Christmas is among the most exciting and busy times for many people and businesses. It is the perfect season to make big out of your small business. Getting organised ahead of time is necessary so you don’t miss out on opportunities during this busy time of year. To ensure your business is ready to take advantage of these potential profits, use the checklist below to help you prepare for the season of celebration!
1. Consider your holiday season operating hours
What are your business hours during the festive season? Will you stay open or be closed temporarily? Prepare your employees for the holidays by asking them to request time off to plan schedules. Keep your staff and customers informed about changes in operational hours, so they can plan too.
2. Staff input
When making decisions about the holiday season, your staff’s insight can help enhance your customer’s experience. Encourage employees to voice what they feel worked and didn’t work in previous years. Discuss any possible schedule conflicts and involve them in any roster changes; their input may help with unnecessary, last-minute sick days!
More holiday hours are typically needed to accommodate additional sales and orders, so develop a roster for those extra shifts. If you usually don’t offer staff overtime, try incentivising your employees with bonuses, alternative holiday perks or days off in lieu.
On days your business is open, developing a skeleton staff roster; having some staff work on certain days and other staff working alternate days may be necessary for this period. Allowing shift swapping, with approval from management, is a way to keep up morale in this busy time of year.
Some employees don’t mind working during the Christmas / New Year period because they prefer to have a break later in the year. Depending on your business’s industry and customer needs you will need to determine if it is worth opening.
3. Update your Website, Google Business Profile and Socials
Online shopping is increasingly vital for holiday sales, so your website must be optimised for efficiency this season to ensure you capture a market share. If you have an Ecommerce store, keep your inventory up to date and include updates on the latest product announcements, promotions and shipping information.
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- What are your customers searching for most frequently?
- Is the design easy to navigate and function from the customer’s perspective?
- Does your website contact form work?
- Is your business information (e.g., contact info, address, operational hours) up-to-date?
- Does your Ecommerce checkout process function smoothly?
- Are your terms and conditions updated with shipping, returns, and pricing policies?
Since more customers are shopping online, can your website handle high-volume traffic? You don’t want to lose customers because your website was down or because of an issue with payment processing.
4. Stock up on extra stock
There’s nothing worse than running out of your best-selling product and having to turn away a new customer. Estimating the number of holiday supplies you will need is always tricky. An excellent way to achieve this is to check last year’s orders as a benchmark and look at current trends to see what’s popular.
When you are down to ‘X’ amount, set up re-order points, and ensure you then re-order. Expect delivery delays, so ensuring you allow plenty of time for arrival of stock throughout the holiday season is always a great idea.
Find out when and if your suppliers are closed for the holiday season to avoid unnecessarily running out of stock. Try speaking with your suppliers to see if you can get discounts for buying in bulk.
It’s best to plan early to avoid express shipping charges; this will also help with cash flow by buying more for each order rather than a lump sum at the end of the year. It’s often helpful to have extra stock on hand for when you are busy or to keep unsatisfied customers happy who may demand replacements.
5. Stay organised
During the holiday season, it is essential to stay organised. If you have a bricks-and-mortar location like a store, office, or clinic, ensure it looks festive during this busy time.
Don’t forget to buy holiday decorations for the workplace, order those Christmas gifts and cards for your clients and staff, and organise your staff end of year celebration.
Schedule social media posts before you enjoy your vacation; this way, you are still being present online. Hire a VA to manage your office phones if needed.
6. Create a Christmas marketing campaigns
Planning is crucial this time of year, especially if you are trying to attract holiday shoppers or clients. Do something creative with your marketing campaign: you must stand out among all the other businesses competing for attention at this busy time of year.
Think about adding some Christmas flair to your branding, like adding Christmas messages and images to your email signature and social media header images, or having especially branded products.
Be creative with your holiday promotions and do something different to attract customers who love to spend during this time of year. Simple things like getting creative with your email subject lines will encourage customers to open your emails and see your special offers.
Here are a few creative promotions to run:
- 12 days of Christmas
- Holiday giveaway or sale
- Virtual advent calendar
- Christmas themed contest
- Partner with a local charity with a percentage of the profits being donated
Consider sending a handwritten note to your existing client base, wishing them a Happy Holiday or Merry Christmas, depending on their beliefs, along with a small sample of one of your products. It’s an excellent way to remind customers that you appreciate their business while still staying at the forefront of their minds.
Don’t forget to think about collaborating with other businesses, giving both businesses additional exposure to a larger customer base.
7. Give special offers to your loyal customers
Research shows that loyal customers spend 67% more than new customers. It is easier to convince people who are already loyal customers to buy from you than to get new customers. This is especially true during the holiday season!
You can determine what appeals to your existing customers by studying their buying histories. Using this strategy, you can create personalised campaigns targeting your customers and convincing them to shop at your store.
Here are a few ideas for ways to reward your most loyal customers and Christmas business promotion ideas:
- Exclusive online deals
- Offer free/extra services like gift wrapping, fee free membership, gift cards
- Personalised discounts and promotions
- Personalised gift suggestions
- Exclusive gift redemptions
Wrapping Up for this Holiday Season
Your campaign is not over after Christmas, be ready to push your customers for new year deals. Make your campaign New Year ready, because right after Christmas, people are also looking to buy products for the New Year.
The Christmas period can be emotional and stressful if you are unprepared. It can also be magical and one of the most profitable if you follow and put in place the right business strategies. So get started today!
If you need help with any of your Christmas Business Planning, why not take a look at one of our Business adhoc coaching calls.