The Christmas season is one of the most important times of the years for many businesses—and also the most hectic time to be a business owner. As business owners ourselves (especially in a seasonal industry!), we’ve had plenty of experience with the stress of crunch time and we’re here to tell you that there’s no such thing as being over-prepared! Whether you’re in service or retail, getting your holiday plan together well in advance can have a major impact on how well your business fares this Christmas. We’ve compiled a list of things business owners should be thinking about now to see the most success this holiday season.
Get Your Team Ready
Running a tight ship during a busy time requires a crew that’s both prepared and enthusiastic. With special holiday hours, a calendar full of events, and plenty of requests for time off, getting a staff schedule in place can be a nightmare. While you may be unsure right now if you’ll need to hire additional seasonal help, it’s important to keep in mind that hiring earlier rather than later will give you a bigger, better pool of candidates to choose from. With or without additional help, you likely will need your employees to work more hours than usual. Consider offering an incentive to get them motivated to work longer hours.
Consider Last Year’s Season
The best way to improve is to learn from your mistakes! Use every resource at your disposal to gather as much information about last year’s failures and successes.
- Reports—For quantitative data, check out your sales reports. The more detailed they are, the better. If the information you recorded last year isn’t helpful, make a note of how to improve them this time around.
- Employees—For qualitative data, ask your employees for their opinion on what you did well and what you need to work on. Listen to their feedback and create an action plan to implement it.
- Customers—While it may be hard to find time for during such a busy season, take note of any pain points for customers that you observe and if it feels natural, ask for their feedback.
Shout It From The Rooftops!
You can put all the effort you want into getting your business ready to take on crowds of customers, but if no one knows what you’re offering, does it even matter? Make sure your marketing conveys your business’ unique value proposition—what makes you different from your competitors—and showcases your best deals. Get a social media plan in place and schedule it in advance, create email marketing campaigns to let customers know about your holiday promotions, and consider running ads on Facebook or Google AdWords to capture new customers while they’re searching for products or services like yours.
Create The Perfect Atmosphere
Around the holidays, stores are competing with each other more than ever for the attention of customers. Decorating your business is an easy win to get people through the door, but when it comes time to hang wreaths and string lights, you’re likely already busy serving customers and readying your inventory. To make things as easy on yourself as possible, schedule a decorating service that can take care of everything for you. Beware, though, these services get booked up quickly! Schedule as soon as you can to get the best choice of decorations and installation dates.