For most of us, the holiday season is a fantastic time of year. Families get together, friends exchange gifts, and everyone is in a generally good mood. However, if you're a small business owner, the holiday season can also be a stressful time. After all, you're not just responsible for your own holiday preparations; you've also got to make sure your business is ready for the influx of holiday shoppers. Here are 10 tips from the Lillington Area Chamber of Commerce to help you prepare your small business for a successful holiday season:
1. Cheer Up Your Storefront
Begin by making sure your storefront is brimming with holiday cheer! Put up some festive lights, banners, and window clings. You might even want to consider hiring a Santa Claus or an elf to stand outside and greet customers as they come in.
2. Hire Seasonal Helpers
If you know you're going to be busy during the holidays, it's a good idea to hire some seasonal staff to help with the extra workload. This will free up your time so that you can focus on other aspects of running your business.
3. Step Up Your Holiday Marketing
Don’t forget to update your marketing strategy for the holidays. Create some special holiday-themed ads and send out direct mailers to residents in your community. You might even want to offer special discounts and promotions to entice customers to come into your store.
4. Create a Merry Gift Guide
If you sell products that would make great gifts, why not create a gift guide? This guide can be emailed to customers as a PDF or posted on your website. Write a gift guide in Word, then you can create PDFs from your existing documents using this PDF converter. Be sure to include information about each product, along with pricing and any special promotions you're currently offering.
5. Double-Check Your Holiday Inventory
Nothing frustrates customers more than finding out that the item they want is out of stock. Make sure you have enough inventory on hand to meet the demands of holiday shoppers. If possible, it's always a good idea to have additional inventory on hand in case of last-minute shoppers.
6. Give Something Back
During the holidays, it's important to remember those who are less fortunate than us. There are many ways you can give back to your community, such as donating percent of sales to charity, hosting a food drive, or volunteering at a local soup kitchen. Not only will this make you feel good, but it will also make your community aware of your business.
7. Offer Last-Minute Shopping Opportunities
There will always be last-minute shoppers who wait until the last minute to do their shopping—and that's okay! In fact, you can use this opportunity to attract more customers into your store by offering special deals and promotions for last-minute shoppers.
8. Have A Plan B In Place
Despite your best efforts, there's always a chance that something could go wrong during the holiday season—and that's why it's important to have a Plan B in place. For example, if you're relying on online sales but your website crashes due to increased traffic, make sure you have a backup plan in place—such as setting up an eBay store or selling products through Amazon Prime.
9. Don't Forget About Accessories!
Along with clothing items, shoes, handbags, and jewelry, many people are looking for unique gift ideas such as wallets, key chains, and cufflinks. Make sure you have these items in stock so that people can complete their holiday shopping all in one place.
10. Have Fun!
The holidays should be enjoyable for both you and your customers. If everything goes according to plan, you'll be able to profit from the season while also providing great customer service. However, if things don't go as planned, remember that there's always next year! And who knows? Maybe this will be the year that everything goes smoothly!
The holiday season is upon us once again! Small business owners need to start preparing now if they want their businesses to survive (and thrive!) during this hectic time of year. Having a plan is essential—you need to know what decorating needs doing, what promotions you're going to offer, how much inventory to have on hand, etc. By following these simple tips, though, you can take some of the stress out of running a small business during the holiday season.
Join the Lillington Area Chamber of Commerce to connect with local entrepreneurs and resources that can help your business grow.