• Samantha McDougal

6 Tips To Prepare Your Small Business For The Holiday Season

Updated: Apr 4, 2021

Tis the season to be a BOSS.

Holiday Preparation Tips For Small Businesses

For many big and small businesses alike, the holiday season really is the “most wonderful time of the year.” During these few months, business owners will really have the opportunity to see their business grow. There's potential for bringing in new customers, increasing sales, new networking opportunities, and more. This is why it's important to be prepared. You may even see some businesses start to prepare for the holiday season as soon as July. Think they're crazy? Think again. Below are 5 tips to help get you organized and ready for this year's holiday season.

1. Stock Supplies

If you sell any products, of course, you'll want to see them fly off the shelves. But the last thing you want is to run out of stock during the busiest shopping time of the year.

Or, maybe you're all set on inventory, but the thought of ordering extra shipping or packaging supplies slipped your mind. Take a moment and go over everything you need to fulfill orders and operate smoothly. Also, take a look back at last year's orders to anticipate how much of what you will need. And don't forget, other companies such as vendors and freight carriers are extremely busy this time of year. So plan and schedule ahead with them, too.

2. Online Store

As we all know, eCommerce has become such a major component of holiday shopping. From gifts to decorations, and even holiday recipe ingredients... people are skipping the lines and heading straight for online checkout. Having an online presence will be even more important this year due to the current pandemic.

Give your website a quick overview to ensure it's ready for the holiday traffic. Is the design clean, fast and simple to use? Can customers easily find your most popular products or services? Does your checkout work smoothly and efficiently? Have your web developer or an employee run trials and test runs to work out any technical problems if there are any before it gets too busy.

Tips: There are a few other small items you can add to your website to scale your business this time of year. Design a new festive web banner, so visitors know right away that your company is ready to celebrate the holidays. Also, do you offer multiple payment options at checkout? Double-check to make sure your business accepts all major payment providers for effortless transactions.

3. Marketing

Strategize your marketing plan and make sure to incorporate creativity into your holiday promotions. You want to stand out from the crowd in order to attract all the holiday shoppers and clients who love to spend this time of year. Be personal and unique, and make sure to include important information like shipping or sale deadlines.

Most of us can say we know someone personally who starts to plan their holiday activities, parties and gifts way in advance. So why will they want to spend time or money at your small business this holiday season? Determine the answer, get festive, and develop a marketing campaign around that.

What else do you think of in regards to marketing? Think powerhouse, Social Media.

Social media is such an important way to drive sales during this time of year, and to get your holiday deals and promotions out there! A tip that will save you a lot of time is to have all of your social media posts/material designed and scheduled ahead of time. Facebook's native post scheduler and HootSuite are two great tools for this.

4. COVID Prep

As I stated earlier, it is important to ensure your business has a strong online presence. More holiday shoppers will be doing so from the comfort of their own homes this year. However, there are a few things you can do for the in-store customers. Practice good hygiene by displaying a small hand sanitizer stand at the entrance of your establishment, and make sure everyone is wearing a face mask.

Also, consider designing a new layout for browsers. Make popular items easier to find, so that you won't end up with too many people wandering around.

5. Employee Love

Meet with your staff. It's especially important to include them in the holiday process. Ask them for feedback about what they remembered from the previous holiday season. What worked, what didn't work, what was their experience like, and how can the team work more efficiently together this year. It's also a great time to give recognition where it's due. Not that you need a reason to, but this time of year can be stressful so let your team know you are thankful for them.

Lastly, don't forget to go over the oh-so-important holiday schedule with everyone.

6. Give Thanks

It's no secret you and your teamwork your butts off! But without customers, your business can't thrive. So give them thanks! Yes, a simple "Thank You!" will go a long way. Yet, you can also include these thank-yous in your marketing strategy by offering discounts and coupons to return customers. Or giving smalls samples or freebies with purchases. Any type or form of gratitude will surely help grow your business and ensure returning customers.

So, are you ready for this year's holiday season?! I hope this article helps you as you prepare for all the hustle and bustle. As a bonus, I've included a FREE 2020 Holiday Prep List below. Happy Holidays!

2020 Small Business Holiday Prep List

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