It may say September on the calendar, but the cold winds of winter are right around the corner. And you know what else is coming up fast? The holiday season.
November and December are often the busiest months of the year for a large variety of businesses. Retailers see crowds shopping for gifts for friends and loved ones. Service providers, like florists and maids, get calls to help make homes look clean and festive. Winter workers like plow drivers and furnace techs swing into high gear as the flakes begin to fall.
Is your business ready for this hectic time? Let’s review all there is to do now to be ready for the holidays.
How’s Your Hiring?
Staffing is often a limiting factor during the rush months. In fact, for some of the largest retailers, holiday hiring has already started, with Fortune reporting that Kohl’s started adding team members all the way back in June.
Depending on the nature of your business, hiring may be a difficult business. With so many companies now competing for talented staff, certain industries are struggling to keep up with client demand. Businesses that require more training or expertise, such as plow drivers or HVAC technicians, will find it more of a challenge to staff vacancies, meaning the earlier you can start your search, the better.
Plan Your Promotions
Another big factor during the holiday shopping season is the quest for deals. Buyers love a bargain, and if they’re able to save on a comparable product or service from Brand X versus your business, there’s a good chance that you’ll lose the sale.
Fortunately, you can put together a sales incentive strategy now and be ready for the competitive game of holiday selling. Whether you plan single-day sales, weeklong discounts or reward-style campaigns, taking the time now to identify your most popular offerings and preparing your verbiage, sales systems and promotional strategies will save you in the long run and help drive a more profitable campaign.
Manage Your Marketing
Of course, all the incentives in the world won’t help if there aren’t people in your shop, visitors on your website or callers on your phones. You’ve got to spread the word, and that’s where marketing comes in.
There’s no shortage of options for how to advertise in 2018. You can post on social media or buy a pay-per-click (PPC) campaign. Or you can book some airtime on the radio or TV, or buy a block of print ads in the local papers. You can even send out fliers or emails, or postcards or letters, or cold call old customers.
The right channel for you depends on many factors:
- Who is your target client?
- What is your budget?
- How localized is your product/service?
- What is your capacity for creating media/materials?
Consider your campaigns and incentives – and perhaps review results of previous campaigns – and work now to purchase media placements and prepare your materials so that you’re not rushing once the holidays come knocking.
Get the Team Together
Finally, it’s important to make sure everyone on your team is on the same page about your overall approach the holiday season. For many businesses, this is done in holiday prep meeting. Gather store managers or department heads, shift leaders, keyholders and other lead members of your workforce together to review your strategies and plans in advance of the holidays.
This meeting serves as a time to answer questions, identify opportunities that you hadn’t considered, establish standards for customer inquiries or alternate fulfillment options, and discuss any concerns with staffing levels or schedules. The holidays can be make-or-break for some small- and mid-sized businesses, so gather the troops and review your holiday war plans early to make sure you’re as prepared as can be.
Meet, Plan, Strategize – All at Space Between
For all there is to do – and so much more – there’s the Space Between. Offering three distinctive meeting spaces, conference room rentals and more, hold hiring events, strategy sessions, crunch your numbers or host your holiday kick off at our facility in Lockport, NY. Find out more about availability and book your session now by calling 716.433.7688 today.