Now that we’ve all settled in post-time-change, we can shift to the big show: holiday prep. No matter your small business's industry, the holidays will impact you. Let’s talk about getting organized now so your holiday season can be smooth for your small business. Some pre-planning and pre-organization can even help your brainstorm ways to grow your business and give you a sense of calm before the holiday storm hits.
Getting Your Small Business Ready For The Holidays
Review your business operations.
Depending on your industry, you may need more coverage for expanded hours during the holidays. Hiring needs to happen now! Go ahead and set your hours for the rest of the year. Will you be closed on certain days? Make this information available on your website and social pages. Update your Google business page, as well.
Check your inventory and pricing.
Now is the time to ensure you have the products you need on hand or ordered. Check on delivery dates. Unfortunately, we’re all still dealing with inventory delays. If you are a service provider, consider your current pricing and whether you need to make updates. Is this a good time to even expand your services? You may want to offer special services during the holidays.
Document your plans.
You’ll need to capture all of the plans you’re making so far and the holiday plans you will be making along the way. It is essential to document price changes and inventory to track performance and make changes as needed. Documentation is especially important if you will be delegating tasks. Keeping a calendar updated is crucial.
Do a pre-holiday clean and declutter.
You’ll feel much better facing the holidays from an organized workspace. Clear off surfaces and give them a good wipe-down. Go through any piles of paper that you’ve been avoiding. Give yourself a nice clean slate.
Deck the halls.
If your employees are feeling the spirit of the season or your customers would appreciate a little cheer, go ahead and budget for some holiday decor and assign out the decorating task. You could hire a professional if the job is very important or time is limited. You can go ahead and start decorating now!
Decide on your holiday promotions.
For example, if you’re expanding your menu of services as a house cleaner, you may want to theme the service packages or offer special deals. If you sell a product, make a plan for your different sales throughout the next couple of months. Prepare for Cyber Monday and Black Friday. Along with deciding your sales, service expansion, and promotions, you’ll need to decide how to get the word out. Which social channels will be most helpful? Do you need to update your website, as well? Get the right people in place to accomplish your plans now.
Keep an eye on your budget.
Budgets can get lost in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Put budget reviews on your calendar weekly or biweekly. Don’t skip it! Knowing your small business’s financial situation is better than worrying about it. Plus, the earlier you know whether you have extra budget to work with or that your budget is suddenly more constrained, the earlier you can make a plan to take advantage of it or address the issues.
Toast your employees.
It is easy to stick to just thinking about your customers, but it is also the holiday season for your employees. Think about what would be most meaningful for your employees during these holidays. You may want to organize a volunteering opportunity in your local community or plan a hot chocolate bar or holiday get-together. Your plan can be simple, and as long as you focus on appreciating your employees, your plans should be well-received.
Plan customer and client gifting.
In some industries, holiday gifting to customers and clients is a must. Get your orders in now! Only you know what is expected and appreciated in your particular industry. It might be homemade cookies or cookies from the local bakery. It could be a gift tower from an online company or as simple as a bowl of candies on the counter. You may want to host something for your customers or invite them to volunteer with you. Think about outreach and your community.
Hire your winter vendors.
Get everyone lined up in advance! You may have a parking lot that needs shoveling and salting or treacherous walkways to address. You may need extra help from cleaners. And you’ll want to ensure your business insurance is in tip-top shape because winter always presents some additional liabilities.
We hope some extra planning in advance can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed this holiday season. From your workspace to your employees, your consideration will be worthwhile. We wish you a peaceful and fruitful holiday season.