The busy season differs depending on the industry and type of business, however, we’ve put together a general checklist of things to do to get ready to handle and maximise this period.
The holiday rush typically begins in late November and extends to early January, when things begin to cool down. Most business owners look forward to it because they experience a significant increase in sales, they are able to clear out most of their old (and new!) stock, and there is an evident increase in traffic to their store. But some businesses buckle under the pressure and may not how to handle this sometimes stressful period, especially if they are not prepared.
Every business owner should know their fast-moving items and their products/services in high demand. You should also be able to forecast what products are typically popular during this season. It is wise to identify these products and stock up, so that you don’t run out and disappoint loyal or new customers.
Also, clear out old stock that may be expiring from your store.
Plan your resources effectively.
Resources ranging from your staff and power consumption, to utilities, airtime (phones), data etc will be needed in more quantities during this period, so you should plan for this.
Also prepare your staff on how to handle customers during peak periods. Customer experience is extremely important – you get new customers during this period; you want to ensure that they have the best experience that will bring them back, and/or get them to speak favorably about your products/services.
Another thing to think about is extend your opening hours.
Increase your advertising – if you offer discounts (also a great idea!) let your customers know.
If you have new products in stock, let them know that too.
Special products: hampers, gift items, gift vouchers, gift packages are great for holidays as people are looking to gift to their loved ones. (Plan pricing around these efficiently so that you don’t lose out by offering discounts!)
Ensure that you clearly communicate what days/times you are open and closed. You can do this via email to your customer email list, via SMS to your customers’ phones, on your social media accounts and on a physical sign in your stores.
We’re not suggesting a full renovation, but maybe a new coat of paint? Also, if its the holiday season, some seasonal decorations would do a lot to spruce up your store. Sparkling lights, Christmas trees, complimentary sweets – whatever puts your customers in the holiday mood.
And that’s it. This list is by no means exhaustive, but should get you on track to planning for your business during this upcoming (or any) busy sales period. If you need some extra funds to make this period a successful one, Flex Advance is your go-to partner for quick, convenient and affordable cash advances to meet any business needs.