Are You Ready for the Big 3?

Holiday Marketing, Edmiston GroupWith Halloween (and Christmas) decorations in stores, people are digging out the first set of boxes from storage to put their house in the holiday spirit.  As the days become shorter and the crisp night air arrives, it becomes clear that we are preparing to run the gauntlet of the holiday season.

As a retail business owner this is a time of year where many profits can be made and sales will increase.  Having planned for the right amount of merchandise and proper staffing to deliver outstanding customer service can be the difference between setting record profits or needing to dip into your cash reserve to get by.

Are you ready for the BIG 3?  We are referring to the upcoming shopping days: Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday.  These are the days when record sales are often set as consumers look for holiday shopping deals.

There are some steps you can take to help insure the most chances of being successful this holiday season.

  • Your employees are also going to want time off to spend with friends and family.  This where you have to devise a schedule that is fair, yet keeps your business properly staffed for the influx of customers.  During those BIG 3 days in particular, it may warrant an increase in staffing levels to deliver a memorable customer service experience.
  • It is a good idea to look at past years’ merchandising and business trends on these business days and determine how to prepare. Where companies run into problems is not having their financial house in order so they can purchase the right amount of inventory.  The goal is to have just enough so you don’t carry a large amount of inventory into 2017.
  • Advertise.  Yes, this may sound silly; however, it is amazing how many companies do not advertise for the special events they have coming up.  While your normal customers will benefit from a sale, you may be missing new customers that could also benefit from your sale.  Use platforms such as social media, geo targeting, email, TV or print to reach new customers.  As new people come into your store, capture email addresses and stay in touch throughout the year.
  • Small Business Saturday. Expand your reach by working with small business owners in your area to create a shopping destination experience.  Everyone wins – share in the cost of advertising and market your event to all client lists expanding your reach.  SCORE Pittsburgh is working with a group of businesses in Fox Chapel to help promote this type of initiative.

The most important thing to remember is to have fun and enjoy the holidays.  With proper planning you will be able to better handle the influx of new customers leaving them satisfied and wanting more.  And…you can take that to the bank!

About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business growth.