The holidays are once again nearly upon us. Naturally, that means businesses can get utterly slammed by consumer’s buying frenzies as December 25th approaches. These days mass consumption can be offset by big buying days like Boxing Day, Cyber Monday, or Black Friday, but that doesn’t mean stores can rest on their laurels and sail through December without any issues! In this blog, we are looking at some of the best practices to keep your business running smoothly throughout the hectic shopping season.
The season can bring new customers, bigger sales, and an opportunity to outshine the competition. Here are a few things to consider when navigating the holiday craziness.
- Make note of those important shopping days mentioned above. Ensure you have enough staff on. Order more merchandise before December hits (hopefully you’ve at least got that far).
- Many stores adopt a ‘no return policy’ until after Boxing Day. This will of course mitigate and bottlenecks for your business and put less stress on your employees...at least for the time being.
- What are your goals for the season? Setting these up for the season can help you organize aspects of your business you hadn’t thought about.
- Build a calendar for the season...a seasonal road map if you will. Are there any business events you need to attend? Staying on top of key tasks, even personal in nature can help smooth out the ride.
- Social media. These channels are a great way to let consumers know if and when they can expect sales to happen and for you to plan accordingly. Develop a seasonal social media calendar and schedule ALL of your posts so you don’t have to think about it when the big storm hits! Lots of good viz of your product and brand are always good.
- Use your smartphone as much as possible to track your marketing. Use Google calendar so that you receive updates to things you might forget...in fact building your life around Google docs ain’t so bad! #neverforgetstuff
- Keep communicating with your suppliers. Let them know that January may be a better time to tie up any loose ends...hopefully, your relationship will allow for that if need be. Busy for them too, they may prefer a timeline extension.
- Before the season really ramps up, get rid of any supplies you have not used in the past year. Maybe you can return stuff for store credit? And hey, purge your desk so it’s not something you have to think about!
- Staff Christmas Party! Book early, as in early in the year to make sure venues are available. Many businesses look to show appreciation for staff once the busy shopping season is over. Consider a January party.
- Decorating the store. The earlier you can get staff to jump on this the better. However, it’s always best practice to do this after Remembrance Day out of respect for our service people. Keep it simple and clean, you don’t want to clutter your store and take away the emphasis on your merchandise.
- BONUS ROUND!!!! Take a look at your financials. Is there excess budget left that your department didn’t spend? Find a way to use that cash as the bean counters may be reluctant to give you the same amount in the new year. Cutting a budget surplus is an easy way for them to trim! Food for thought.
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