Five Things to Get Your Business Ready for the Holiday Shopping Season
Your friends may be posting clever memes about the holiday season starting too early. For business owners, it cannot start too soon. This is a time for boosting profits and minimizing stress. These are the final months of the year and if November and December are your busy season, then these are five things you do to prepare:
Put an end to procrastination.
The year is about to end. Don’t you think it’s time to take care of all the things you’ve been putting off? All those changes you’ve been planning to make in order to draw more customers or streamline your processes? This is the time to do it. Update your website. Implement an improved inventory tracking system. Get some extra help with marketing.
Form a strategy for holiday marketing.
You must set aside time for this. Plan your marketing by using all the data you have. This includes what customers responded to last year and what the current trends are. You should already know the needs and tastes of your loyal clients. If you don’t, what are you waiting for? Are you short on creative ideas? That’s what the internet is for.
What marketing channels are most likely to give you a good return for your investment? This could mean Facebook ads, direct mail postcards, e-mail campaigns, or traditional newspapers or radio advertising. Order your free giveaways. Have direct mail and ad pieces designed. Create a timeline so you’ll know exactly what you’ll be launching and when.
Start the hiring and training of seasonal workers.
It’s never too early to start this process. Okay, you can relax directly following the season but before you know it, next season will be creeping up on you. You want to ease the burden for full-time employees. Most importantly, you want your outstanding customer service to remain consistent. Without training, the opposite will happen.
Seasonal employees are often the cause of accidents and theft. Properly screening and training means safety for everyone. You will need time for this, so start as soon as possible.
Create a specific holiday vacation policy.
It’s in your best interest to establish vacation policies. Whether you do or don’t, your employees will have their own. Taking off around Thanksgiving and Christmas may work for them, but not for you. The key is communication. Do it well in advance so that feelings don’t get hurt and morale does not suffer.
There are numerous approaches. Use a first-come, first-served policy. Base it on seniority, or some other system. Try to be fair. Employees who volunteer to come in on holidays may be eligible for perks. Whatever you decide, be sure to comply with state and federal laws regarding overtime and holiday pay.
Boost employee morale.
We’re not just talking about Christmas spirit, especially because not all your employees will necessarily be celebrating this holiday. Rather, we are talking about preventing as much stress as possible. This is a season of family celebrations, social commitments, and the pressure to buy gifts and have fun. Add the increasing pace at work and you have the potential to be part of the problem. Avoid this with careful planning.
Office parties are almost always a popular idea. Just remember to solicit employee input. Feel free to decorate, just as long as you’re mindful of your staff members’ varied traditions and heritages. A lone Christmas tree is not an easy solution and hasn’t been for quite some time. Catch up. Supporting charitable projects, ones that your employees choose, and offer to match contributions in some way. No matter what, this season is the perfect time to improve morale and encourage employees to come together as a team.
The Law Office of H. Benjamin Sharlin LLC
is owned and operated by H. Benjamin Sharlin and serves all of Mercer County, New Jersey and the surrounding areas. Mr. Sharlin is a bilingual Spanish-speaking attorney who vigorously represents the interests of all his clients.
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