Without a plan to handle the uptick in holiday sales, you might find yourself feeling overwhelmed. The secret to having a worry-free holiday is planning, whether you take time off or work straight through it.
Let Clients Know You’ll Be Away
It may not occur to your clients that your business will be closed for the holiday. Consider contacting your clients – by phone or email – and let them know the days or weeks you’ll be unavailable. You might ask them if they need any goods or services from you before you close down, which can be a great way to earn some much-needed cash for the holiday.
Pay Your Bills
Keep your utilities on and late fees off your business credit cards by paying your bills before the holidays, even if it means paying some of them early. Getting caught up in the holiday spirit might cause you to forget these important expenses, so you may wish to use your accounting software to set up as many payments as possible in advance.
Drive Home Your Customer Service Message
Your business needs happy customers to get the most out of the busy holiday season. Train your staff to ensure they understand your business’s mission and message, and pass on the message to your customers. Consider training – or retraining if needed – your employees in the business’s policies and procedures, such as handling returns, using coupons, and shipping and handling orders.
Stock Up on Holiday Essentials
Failing to stock holiday bestsellers can send your customers shoppers directly to the competition. Whether it’s little black dresses, holiday decorations or candy canes, stock your shelves with the things your customers will come to buy during the festive season. If you provide a highly sought-after service, such as handyman or snow removal, ensure your equipment and tools are in excellent working order.
Give Your Website a Check Up
You may need the help of an IT freelancer to ensure you website, including its shopping cart software, is ready to handle the increase in holiday traffic. If your website provides information about your brick-and-mortar location, consider posting all the information customers need to find you, such as your phone number, physical address and a map, as well as printable coupons and updated business policies.
Plan Staffing Needs Early
Avoid being short-handed by having your staff submit holiday leave requests early. Knowing who’s going to be away and who can work can help you plan your seasonal staffing needs accurately and train those workers who need training before the rush.
Brainstorm Ideas to Drive Sales
Some shoppers need your expert suggestions to make buying decisions and creative displays of gift ideas – or special packages of services – can boost holiday sales. Consider holding brainstorming sessions with your staffers to come up with unique ideas to encourage customers to buy more goods and services from you.