Ramping Up Your Business for The Holidays

by Gil Zeimer on October 27, 2010
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Many companies use a 100-day countdown to Christmas to promote their businesses during the busy holiday season. Well, don’t look now: We’re only 58 days away from the big day, and Santa’s workshop is already in high gear.

If you sell a larger percentage of your goods or services between Halloween and New Year’s Day than at any other time of the year, or if you want to turn the holidays into a sales bonanza, here are some helpful ways to think about optimizing your holiday selling.

  • Hire part-time help – If you have a retail store or a restaurant and anticipate a crush of customers, follow the leaders. Macy’s, The Gap, Walmart, Target, Toys “R” Us, and others hire seasonal, part-time employees. So can you. They can be invaluable in helping your customers find or order the right items, get things gift-wrapped, or check them out at the register. Simply having more bodies in a store can smooth out what is often a highly stressful time.
  • Advertise your holiday sales – Let your clients know about your holiday promotions now and update them as you get closer to the year’s final weeks. Most retail businesses hold their biggest advertising push for the two final months of the year — for good reason.
  • Order stock early – Every business can take an educated guess at what their most popular items will be. While you may not have the next Apple device or “Tickle Me Elmo,” you can profit by ordering your potential biggest sellers early. Do your research and bet big on a few key items.
  • Stock up often – Bare shelves don’t sell merchandise, in stores or online. So make sure you keep re-ordering inventory throughout the holiday season, not just once, and keep shelves as full as possible.
  • Shop now for the perfect client gift – One way to reward your best customers is to give them a customized gift, like a branded gift card from your business. This can cost whatever you want to spend, but shop around for it now before you get “holidazed” with too much to do and you forget about it.
  • Send holiday greetings – Whether it’s a traditional card, an e-card, or a holiday video posted on YouTube, get a message out there to show your clients how much you value their business. A hand-delivered jar of candy works wonders.
  • Throw a party – The holidays are huge for your company, so make sure your staff is motivated to push through it. If you’ve got just a few employees, take them to lunch or dinner and tell them how much you appreciate their efforts this year. If you have a larger company, consider hosting a full-blown holiday party. Try a Secret Santa gift exchange, too, which is always fun and entertaining.
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