The holiday season is the time of year that the vast majority of retailers get excited about, especially this year after a particularly flat Christmas in 2020. However, it can also be a stressful time for small business owners, coping with everything that the expected increase in business brings with it. This is particularly the case for business owners who have a physical shop, but can affect those people who sell mostly online as well. Here are some tips to make sure that you’re as well prepared as possible to take on the holiday season.

Consider if you need more staff

If your store is likely to be a lot busier, then you are going to have more products going through checkout, as well as more customers to help, and more stock flying off the shelf. As such, make sure you have the manpower to man more tills (if you have them), to provide assistance, and to keep the stock moving so that your shelves are kept full throughout the day.
If you are selling online, this could still be the case, as you may need some extra help with packing the goods, assembling the packages, and dispatching them, unless you are dropshipping. Also if you sell handmade goods, will you need some help in making them if demand is high?

Look at your Marketing Budget

While maintaining a consistently high marketing budget can lead to diminishing returns, you should always be ready to invest when you’re likely to get the most gain from it. If people are more likely to come to your store for seasonal purchases, then you should make sure that you’re investing in more digital marketing, including direct advertising. When it comes to driving short-term interest and bringing in revenue, advertising is one of the most effective methods so you need to know when to put your foot on the gas of your marketing budget.

Get your stock ready

It’s not just the shopfront that’s going to need to shape up its operations. You also need to take a look at stock levels to make sure that you will be able to cope with demand. This is particularly relevant this year, with stories of supply chains in many industries under pressure and imported goods taking longer to arrive than people might hope for It’s important to take time for planning your stock inventory for high season, This might mean making sure that your shelving and pallets are in good enough shape to not cause any problems, or re-organising stock so that it’s easier to access high-demand items more often, or even implementing a new inventory system so you can more closely track which products have to head down to store floor, which have to be re-ordered, and so on.

Make the store look like a winter wonderland

It’s time to turn on the charm and catch your customer’s eye as best as possible. Now is the best time of year to invest in a little virtual merchandising, putting your most eye-catching and popular products up front and centre, to bring in some foot traffic. Order some gorgeous holiday displays or arrange them yourself to make sure that you’re able to bring a little extra wow factor to the store to make it look extra special for the season. if you sell online, consider if it is possible to jazz up your website, or have some of the products displayed in a seasonal manner.

The holiday season can be the most profitable of the year. You just need to make sure that you have the resources ready and prep-work laid to take it on.

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