5 Holiday Must-Do’s for Small Businesses
Did you know the biggest shopping weekend of the holidays is less than a month away? Don’t panic. It’s ok. We’ve got you covered!
We’re sure you’ve seen it – big retailers like Target and Walmart have already rolled out their holiday merchandise, and we’re still finishing our Halloween candy. While many consumers will seek out the best deal at these bigger retailers, there is another percentage of consumers that are choosing to “shop small” this holiday season either on Small Business Saturday (the Saturday after Thanksgiving), or during the rest of the holiday shopping season. In fact, in 2013, consumers who knew about Small Business Saturday spent $5.7 billion with independent merchants that day, which was up 3.6% from 2012!
And with holiday shopping expected to be on the rise this year, we’re sure that Small Business Saturday will be even more profitable for those businesses involved. Regardless of whether you’re officially involved in Small Business Saturday or not, we’ve got one more check list for you to run through before all the shoppers come through your doors.
Check your inventory
Make sure you have plenty of your most popular items (or, what you perceive to be your most popular items) as well as plenty of gift boxes, gift wrap, receipt tape, shopping bags, etc. You don’t want to run out of anything.
Review your customer list
Who bought what last year? Did Mr. Brown need 10 gift baskets at the last minute? Call him to see if he needs help again this year, so you can both plan ahead. Send vibrant holiday cards to your top customers to see how you can help make their holiday shopping easier this year. A little hand-written note goes a long way.
Make sure all operational processes are in place
How will you receive special orders and ship them on time? What deadlines do your customers need to be aware of (i.e. “Order by..” date)? Has your seasonal staff been trained on all processes so your customers aren’t inconvenienced?
Review your marketing plan
How will you let your customers know about your special events and promotions? Schedule social media pushes and e-newsletters, confirm artwork and logistics for magazine or newspaper advertisements and in-store signage. Make project plans for each promotion or event so your employees can easily refer to them.
Don’t assume anything
With everything above, and so much more – during a hectic shopping season, it’s important that you not assume anything. Don’t assume the ad is going out on time, don’t assume your new employee knows how to ship that package overnight, don’t assume your inventory will arrive on time. Proactively confirm, and re-confirm so that you can have peace of mind.
How are you preparing for the holidays? Let us know in the comments section below! Also – want to learn more about Small Business Saturday, and how your small business can get involved? Click here!
Members, want more tips and tricks on planning for the holidays? Don’t miss our Holiday Planning Guide.
Not a member yet? Sign up for our LSMGuide Newsletter to get your free copy of the Holiday Planning Guide and see what LSMGuide is all about!