10 Ways to Tame the Holiday Haste
You’ve likely started thinking about your business’ holiday planning, but how many decisions have been made? Soon you’ll see an increase in customers and visitors – are you ready to handle the crowds? Here are 10 ways to put your company on the right track.
- Special promotions – Entice customers with holiday sales and events such as a gift with purchase, deep discounts or exclusive products. A popular offer is a free gift card when customers purchase a certain amount in gift cards. Also, restaurants can grab attention with seasonal menu items.
- Staff coverage – If you know the holidays are busy for your business, start the temporary hiring early. Extra team members make it easier to fill hours for those employees who want to take time off around the holidays. And to ensure a smooth process, make sure you have a documented onboarding and training program for all new hires.
- Employee and customer gifts – Now is the time to think about appreciation gifts. A bag, T-shirt or hat with your company logo is a nice gesture to thank your team, vendor partners and top customers for their support over the last year.
- Inventory management – Start by checking last year’s orders and use levels to determine what you’ll need in terms of supplies. For example, new hires will need uniforms and busy holiday crowds may mean more quantities of napkins or restroom supplies. Even though you may go through more products, avoid overcrowding storage areas, which can look messy and turn into an accident waiting to happen. A uniform and linen rental supplier can work with you to identify inventory needs and deliver what you need, when you need it.
- Floorcare – More foot traffic during fall and winter can bring additional dirt, debris and melted snow into your building. Combat this potential safety hazard with fresh floor mats and mops. Your floors will also look more inviting if mats stop the liquid and dirt from coming inside.
- Digital presence – Before things get too hectic, check that your contact info, directions and holiday hours are up to date on your website, Facebook and other channels. Don’t forget to use social media to reach customers with your sales.
- e-commerce – Speaking of digital, perform the necessary testing to ensure your website can handle additional traffic and purchase transactions. Your visitors may increase drastically when sales such as free shipping are offered.
- Shop small – If you’re a small business owner, take advantage of Small Business Saturday on Nov. 24. This movement has gained a lot of attention in the last few years. Be sure to promote your company in the weeks ahead to gain exposure.
- Customer service – During all the hustle and bustle, don’t lose sight of excellent customer service. Continue to keep the customer top of mind as you’ve done throughout the year and you’ll provide a pleasant experience.
- Décor – Last but not least, swap out some of your décor and have fun with holiday decorations. This is sure to get customers as well as employees in the festive spirit.
For many businesses, the holiday months are the most profitable, so don’t leave your plans to chance. Think about your strategy far enough ahead and document what worked (and what didn’t) so you can reference it again next year. Being prepared can help you meet your customers’ needs. And if customers have a positive experience during the holidays, they are more likely to become regulars.
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