Holiday Prep Time
With the 4th of July closing with a bang, it is hard to wrap your mind around the fact that it is time to begin planning for the fall and winter holiday seasons. As a business owner myself, I can attest to the fact that planning is key. When I started my own business, I developed business plan. I would tweak that business plan as my business model changed, but it all started with a plan.
The holiday season is one of the largest spending holidays for consumers. With shopping days such as Back-to-School Sales, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and all the other days that you will find stores lined with consumers looking for the perfect gift for a loved one, it’s important to have a plan in place.
There are some important steps and planning that are required to have a successful holiday season.
- Set clear, obtainable goals. It gives both you and your employees something to work toward. Have different rewards for reaching company goals. This will help to keep everyone focused toward the prize while working together to achieve the goal. Determine and communicate to your staff the different reward values for achieving larger and smaller goals. This will help keep everyone motivated and excited about the holiday season. Be certain to deliver the promised rewards. A pizza party or some Starbucks gift cards can go a long way. Always remember to thank your employees for a job well done.
- Financially planning for the holidays is important to being successful. Most businesses or companies have inventory in stock, especially if you are a storefront or goods based company. Perhaps establishing a line of credit will allow you to have extra available finances that are important to be able to purchase holiday inventory. Moving into the holiday cash strapped can leave a company short on funds to be able to purchase the amount of goods needed to get through the upcoming holiday.
- Plan out any special events for each holiday. Will your office or business have a party for each holiday? If so what is your budget for the party, where and when will it be held? How will you notify your customers of the special event?
- Make sure your team is educated. Holidays are often a time of stress for consumers. Enable your customers to enjoy a pleasurable shopping experience with you by delivering a strong customer service experience. Keep your employees educated on your company’s goods and services, along with any specials or sales you plan on having. This type of communication enables them to deliver a strong customer experience to frenzied customers.
As the long days of summer gradually grow shorter, make sure you have a plan in place for the delivery and sale of the newest, most popular products on the market. Financially prepare for purchase of needed inventory. Educate your employees on new products and upcoming sales. Communicate upcoming events to your customers. You will find that with proper planning and execution, your business will yield the results you desire this upcoming fall and into the holiday season.
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