Getting A Small Business Ready for the Holiday Shopping Season

Although the statement is something of a cliché because it is so often made, the reality is that the winter holiday season tends to be the most important sales period for a business. This particularly is the case for retailers, but the mantra also applies to many service-based enterprises as well. The theory that the winter holiday season is a peak sales period applies to small businesses is a valid one.

The best way to maximize profitability during the winter holiday season is planning and preparation. Towards that objective, there are a number of tips to bear in mind when getting ready for the holidays.

 

Develop a Comprehensive Action Plan

The first step in getting ready for a high-impact holiday season as a small business is to develop a complete, comprehensive action plan. The reality is that many a small business approaches the holiday sales season in a rather willy-nilly fashion. By not creating a coordinated plan in advance, the whole affair becomes rather hit and miss and not as successful as would otherwise be the case.

A comprehensive action plan needs to include everything from marketing strategies to different types of holiday-related sales to special events planned for the holiday time period.

 

Cleanup and Repair the Shop

A brick and mortar world retailer should take advantage of the lead up time to the holiday sales season to give a store a thorough cleaning. Once the cleaning process is completed, a small business owner should spend the time and a reasonable amount of money to make necessary repairs and spruce up the establishment. Keep in mind that even a fresh coat of paint adds a new luster to a shop or other type of business venue.

 

Plan and Prepare a Coordinated Email and Social Media Campaign

In this day and age, an ever increasing number of people rely on the Internet when it comes to obtaining information about the winter holiday sales period. A small business needs to be sure to take advantage of all opportunities that can be found through email and social media.

Throughout the year, a small business needs to make a concerted effort to develop a meaningful opt-in email list. A small business owner must keep in mind that a patron or potential customer must agree to be on an email list in order to receive these types of communications from your company.

Consider an email campaign that launches in September, perhaps with a focus on Halloween, the first of the winter holidays. The email campaign should be designed to carry forth through the first couple months of the new year. During that period a business can have a final new year clearance effort. In between, a small business can focus on the major holidays that include Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza and New Year.

 

Clear Out Stalled Inventory

Typically, a small retail business will have inventory that has stalled in sales. Although placing fresh inventory into a holiday sales rotation is a wise move, so is clearing out stalled inventory that has been sitting around for an extended period of time. The reality is that the winter holiday season represents the best time of year to get rid of items that have not sold during the course of the year.

With this in mind, a small business owner should consider being liberal in cutting prices during the winter sales season. This particularly is the case when it comes to inventory that has not moved during the course of the year.

 

Seasonal Decorations

Although the holiday season in this day and age brings out the debate over political correctness, the fact is that most people like seasonal decorations. A business owner should take the time to decorate an establishment in a celebratory manner. The reality is that appropriate seasonal decorations exist that brighten up a business for the special sales period. In other words, decorations for the winter holiday season do not need to be holiday specific.

A business owner should also have plans to alter the decorations used at a venue as the winter holiday season progresses from Halloween to Thanksgiving to the end of the year celebrations. This type of transitional decorating keeps a space interesting and continues to spark the interest of patrons throughout the winter holiday season.

 

Proactively Hire Temporary Staffers
Some businesses see such a significant increase in traffic during the winter holiday season that they need to engage a team of temporary employees. The key to pulling together a solid team of holiday temps is starting early. Do not wait until the holiday season arrives to start hiring. A wise course of action is to begin looking for temporary winter holiday staffers in mid to late September.

About author

Joseph Brady
Joseph Brady 21 posts

Joseph Brady has been involved in growing businesses since 2004. Focused on improving their marketing efforts both on and offline, he has spent considerable time working as a search engine marketing consultant assisting business increase both the quantity and quality of web traffic.

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