by Roberta M. Fisher, Gadd Business Consultants
For small businesses, this time of year it’s either feast or famine, joy or horror. Below are a few tips to make this a successful season without going crazy.
- Send out Holidays Emails. Handwritten Christmas cards are wonderful to receive but you can use your time elsewhere preparing for the rush. A business email is an acceptable way to say thank you for your business this year and stop in and see us for your holiday needs and explain how they can save using the coupon or discount provided in the email.
- Start planning early, over 50% of shoppers have already started their shopping. You don’t want to be caught behind the 8 ball with your customers or the competition. This means ordering/generating inventory, set up an efficient means to keep track of orders, analysis how to display in house what you want to sell and at what price.
- Hire temporary staff far enough in advance so they know the products, how they work, and know how to make a sale. Good customer service is always important but especially this time of year when everyone is in a hurry. Customers will come back and refer others if the service provided is top notch.
- Provide deals to your repeat customers. These deals can be included in the email that you send (item #1). This tells your customer how important they are to you and how much you value their business.
- Small Business Saturday is an important day to shine. Start marketing your strategy so you will have a great sales day. Include the days’ specials on social media pages and make sure your website is up to date and each page is functioning correctly.
- Plan your day to when you are most productive and whatever time of day that is (mornings, afternoons or evenings), while still making time for downtime. Don’t have too many irons in the fire at that same time, it’s a disservice to your customers and you.
- Take advantage of any slow time in your business to generate new products, new methods, make important phone calls, work on marketing ideas and getting ready for your next busy season.
- Last, but not least, relax and enjoy the season. By planning ahead, you will be able to do just that, relieving the stress will allow you to spend time with family and friends.
References: Small Business Tips to survive the Holiday Season, Lindsey Stroud, (https://www.hatchbuck.com/blog/author/stroud) and Holiday Survival Guide for Small Business Owners, Michael Grothaus (https://fastcompany.com)