This time of year is always busy! Especially as a business owner, you want to be prepared to meet the demand of the holiday season—without being overwhelmed. How do you walk that fine line? Well, one of the first steps is simply to make a plan! Want to know the rest? Well, then read on as we help you get ready.
1. Establish your goals.
We all have personal goals we want to achieve for our businesses—both short-term and long-term. Now’s the time to focus on those short-term goals with an eye toward the holiday season. Depending on your industry, you may want to focus on your e-commerce sales this year. Or work to expand your services, so you can capitalize on more of the holiday market. Maybe you’ve been pleased overall with past years’ performances, but you’ve increased your staffing. Calculate the percentage increase needed to offset the additional staffing costs, whether that’s 5 percent or 50 percent. Regardless of your priorities, it’s much easier to set these benchmarks when you have data on holiday seasons past. After all, how will you know how many more sales you’d like to have if you don’t have access to last year’s numbers? Fortunately, when you work with us, we help you build, access, and track information for just this purpose!
2. Make a plan to reach people.
With these goals in mind, how are you going to make them reality? Will you offer special sales or promotions? Many small businesses now take advantage of opportunities like Black Friday or Small Business Saturday to offer service bundles. Bundling is where you combine products or services to provide your customers with a deeper discounter. They feel like they’re getting a deal on pricing and you get more work out of the bargain! (In a good way, of course.) This a great way to participate in current sales strategies without cutting too deeply into your bottom line.
You can even offer gift card bundles, where the buyers get an additional (free) gift card for purchasing so much. For example, you may offer a free $10 certificate for every $50 dollars the customer spends on gift cards. But, with these promotional cards, you can set a specific expiration date that differs from the normal cards—and encourages clients to come back sooner.
Whatever you decide, you have to make sure people know about it! Even if you’re offering your best deal ever, it’s not going to be effective if you don’t market it properly. During the holiday season, you may want to look into outsourcing the services of an experienced marketing firm. They can advise you on the best methods to reach both current and potential clients. Many people rely on some sort of online advertising when it comes to their holiday shopping, so you should consider updating your website and social media pages in preparation.
3. Prepare for the rush.
If you’ve done everything to funnel in extra business this holiday season, then it’s time to ready your office and staff. Do you have enough help this time of year? Is everyone trained on your systems, protocols, and upcoming promotions? Is your inventory ready for an increased demand of certain products? If not, then now’s the time to take care of these potential shortcomings. While your short-term goal may be to increase your cash flow this year, the long-term view is to create of pattern of growth for many years to come! You can do that by offering exemplary customer service throughout the holidays. You’d be surprised by what people remember, even in the chaos of holiday shopping. Thanks to online review platforms, like Google, they’re also likely to share their recent experience(s) with you. For better or for worse. Try to stay on top of things and you could see 2018 as your best holiday season yet!
While you’re at it, don’t forget to take some time to enjoy the holidays from a personal standpoint. Apart from being your busy season, this is also the season for friends, family, (and food). Afterward, come see us at ENSO Accounting! Not only can we help you evaluate the numbers to determine whether or not you met those goals. But also, we can assist you in managing your additional cash flow to keep the pattern of growth going. Until then, happy holidays, everyone!