How to Prepare Your Small Business for the Holidays
It’s fall, y'all! Before you know it, you’ll be celebrating the holidays with friends and family. Now is the time to start planning ahead for the success of your small business, though. Read on to learn about preparing for the holiday season!
1. Make Your Holiday Schedules Now
Many businesses have different hours during the holidays, so now is the time to determine whether you’ll be open for shorter or longer periods, or if your business will be closed for a few days. Go over all of your holiday season expectations and hour changes with your employees. Make sure you notify your team to request any time off by a certain date so you can schedule your staff accordingly.
2. Stock up on Inventory
You’ll most likely get some extra orders during the holidays, so you may want to consider manufacturing additional products or placing orders with your suppliers to keep up with holiday demands. Check with your vendors to see if they have any ordering deadlines in place to get your product to you in time for the holiday season. Set a reminder of these deadlines for yourself by writing them down in your calendar, you don’t want to miss them!
3. Make Sure You Have Enough Supplies
Go through last year's orders and figure out how much essential supplies you might need. Essential supplies can include office supplies such as toilet paper and paper towels, packing and shipping supplies, and gift cards. If you’re just starting up, see if your network can help guide you through your business’s first holiday season. You’ll want to stock up on supplies early, so you don’t have to worry about rush shipping charges later. By being prepared, you’ll easily be able to meet your employees’ and customers’ needs.
4. Check Your Website
Go through your website and make sure it’s ready for the busyness of the holiday season. Ensure that your website is easy to use, and customers can quickly find your most popular products and services. If you have an e-commerce business, you’ll also want to make sure your checkout is moving smoothly. You can also have your staff or a web developer look over your website to spot any issues you might overlook.
As more and more shoppers are purchasing holiday gifts online, it’s more important than ever to make sure your website is optimized. Avoid losing customers by making sure your site can handle high amounts of traffic and has quick loading times.
You’ll also want to be sure your website is mobile-friendly. Last year, about 20% of online purchases done during the holiday season came from mobile devices. That percentage will only get higher as technology grows more prominent in our everyday lives. Don’t let your customers move on to your competitors; make sure your website is mobile-friendly!
5. Create a Holiday Marketing Campaign
Put aside some time to brainstorm and build your holiday marketing strategy. Use the data you have from last year, current trends, and what you know about your customers’ wants and needs. You’ll also want to figure out which marketing channels are going to give you a good ROI, whether it be email campaigns, Facebook ads, postcards, radio advertising, or otherwise. Once you have decided on your promotions, order any giveaways and supplies you need, get your marketing pieces designed, and create a timeline to keep you on track.
6. Make Sure Your Information is Up to Date
Before things get too hectic, make sure you’ve made any updates to your business information that you need to. This includes your physical address, email address, phone number, social media accounts, and other listings your small business might have. You’re most likely going to have customers trying to get in contact with you over the holidays, so ensure your information is current and easy for them to locate.
7. Stay Active on Social Media
Social media is a great way to increase your business’s reach and bring in more revenue year-round, but it’s especially awesome during the holidays. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram provide you with free tools to connect with your customers and promote new products, sales, and gift ideas.
Prepping before the holiday season gets hectic is super important to ensure the best success for your small business. We hope you’ve found these tips to be helpful, and if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed getting your website to where it needs to be before the holidays, reach out to AnoLogix to see how we can help!
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