Christmas may only be a couple of months away, but it’s not too early to make sure your business is ready for the holidays. No matter what kind of business you have, a little planning will go a long way to make things run smoothly for you, easier for your customers, and more enjoyable for everyone.
Non-Retail and Service Businesses
Let’s start with a look at non-retail and service businesses. They aren’t necessarily the first businesses that come to mind when you think about planning for the holiday rush. But, you more than likely will have to work around employees taking time off, customers rescheduling appointments, new customers wanting your services, as well as the general buzz everyone has the closer you get to Christmas. Maybe your business is one that’s slowest during the holidays. A little thought now will make life easier for everyone.
Think about how you’re going to handle people taking time off and an influx of new customers – do you need to hire additional or temporary staff? If this is a slow time for you, what can you do to make sure that you can keep your best employees busy and working so that you don’t lose them to new opportunities? Think about what your business has to offer during the holidays and start a social media or ad campaign offering discounts to new customers, or incentives to visit your business
Much of that advice is true of retail businesses too. It’s really important to make sure that you have enough staff to cover shifts. Consider having some employees “on call” for days that are traditionally extra busy in case you need more help, or for when someone calls in sick.
Christmas is in the middle of cold and flu season, and working with the public has more than its fair share of germs, so having a back-up plan for people getting sick is a must. Having a large bottle of hand sanitizer easily available for employees to use during their shifts is a great idea. Cover another with seasonal wrapping paper and have it on hand for customers. It’s a tiny thing, but it shows that you’re thinking about your employees and your customers. A little goodwill and thoughtful gestures can have a big impact on busy holiday shoppers.
Merchandise is another area that takes careful planning. You want to make sure that you don’t sell out of popular products early on, but you also don’t want to be stuck with hundreds, or even thousands of dollars of merchandise in January. If the product is something that can easily be reordered throughout the holiday season, you can take a wait and see approach. If not, you may want to order more than you normally would to be safe. Be especially careful with holiday themed, or trendy “hot” gifts – what’s popular in early December may be in the trash by New Years. Ordering a small amount or having one as a store give-away for people who sign up for your email list may be a better risk in the long run.
Christmas Offers and Freebies
As mentioned, many businesses also run special festival offers or extended trials and here at Connect we are no different. Stay tuned for more details but we will be extending our trial period on call answering services and for the first time ever we will be running an offer on our local presence and 0333 programmable numbers.
The holidays are crazy for everyone. Planning ahead can elevate a lot of stress for your customers, your employees and especially you!