Small businesses and customers can find the holiday season extremely disruptive. Either you are in a slow season searching for things to do or you could feel overwhelmed by the business. You should start making preparations now if you haven’t already.
You can make simple adjustments to increase your business or manage a large influx of holiday customers. These are some ideas to help you end the year on high.
1. Decorate with Holiday Spirit
If you have the right decorations, any customer who enters your store will feel the holiday spirit. It doesn't take too many decorations or flashing Christmas tree lights to make your business feel festive. But a few well-placed decorative touches can bring the space together. This makes your workspace more festive for your employees.
You can either highlight the main themes of the seasons, or you can focus on particular holidays. You can go well into November with autumn leaves and fall colors. Mix it up and put up ghosts or jack-o-lanterns on Halloween, and swap them for turkeys or pilgrims for Thanksgiving.
This is also true for winter. The entire season will be covered by snowflakes and snowmen. You can be specific with Hanukkah and Christmas decorations, as well as New Year's decorations.
2. Take Vacation Time Off for Employees
Everyone loves to have some downtime during the holidays. This is a great time to spend quality time with loved ones and share in the joy of living together. Some businesses cannot afford to allow all their employees to take time off at once. It is your job to ensure everyone gets fair time off, while still staffing for important holidays.
It is up to you how you approach the task and how your team will respond. It might seem fair that the longest tenured employees should be allowed to choose their days off. A rotation could be used to ensure that different people do not hog the same days every year. If you believe your team is comfortable with this, you could consider a first-come first-served strategy.
You deserve some downtime. Entrepreneurship is extremely demanding and time-consuming. Even a few days off can be a great way to recover both mentally and physically.
3. Encourage Calendar Collaboration Among Team Members
Collaboration on a team calendar is essential in order to ensure that everyone in your team understands the project deadlines, important meetings, events, and client requirements. Many calendar software programs today offer team calendars.
So that everyone in your team knows when they are available, make sure they have access to each other's calendars. This will allow team members to collaborate and help one another with tasks that might otherwise go unfinished.
There are many collaborative calendar integrations that teams can use to maximize their time. These tools can help teams work more efficiently together. They can reduce the likelihood of clients being unhappy, missed deadlines, and missing meetings.
4. Know Your Holiday Business Hours
Customers also deserve to know how you will operate during the holidays. It is important to communicate with your customers in advance when you will be closed. Customers and clients will be pleased to know that you are available to assist them.
Schedule-based businesses need to do this. You will be less likely to have to cancel a booked appointment or meeting if you don't block them in advance. Customers who are unhappy with the way their end-of-2018 meetings are rearranged or moved last-minute will not be satisfied.
Send an email detailing your holiday hours to customers who have given you their contact information. You could also add a note to your email signature that explains when your business will close. This could be done early, especially during winter holidays. You can at the minimum, post a notice on your front door or website to make the updated schedule visible and easily accessible.
5. Marketing and Promotions
While the holiday season is a time for family and friends it also presents a great opportunity for businesses. There's a reason that they call the day following Thanksgiving "Black Friday." While it's important to remember what's most important, businesses should think about how to promote their products. A marketing campaign that is executed at the right moment can significantly increase your revenue.
This time of the year, marketing plans are almost written by themselves. Black Friday and Christmas sales can be common and highly desirable. For those looking to avoid the hustle and bustle of shopping, a salon might offer cut-price haircuts on Black Friday. For those who are looking to get ready for the holidays, a mani-pedi promotion might be a good idea. You'll see an increase in sales if you put your personal touch on the season.
It is important to plan for the potential increase in business due to holiday promotions. You need to be able to handle the many holiday shoppers who will visit your store on busy days. You'll be unable to manage the volume of business that you have attracted.
6. Consider Getting Extra Help
You might consider hiring additional help if you feel overwhelmed by the volume of business that comes your way during the holidays. Many businesses employ seasonal workers to help them for a few months. You don't need to be the exception.
Seasonal workers are great because they don't require a long-term commitment. For as long as you need, you can hire a receptionist, hairdresser, or stockroom organizer. These workers want extra hours to make it easier before their lives return to normal.
Consider hiring digital support. You can have your website running with twice the traffic by hiring a webmaster. A third party could implement your clever marketing strategy so that you can concentrate more on your customers.
Ensure that your customers and clients are informed about when your business is out so they can plan accordingly. Your business will be able to avoid any inconvenience or disappointment caused by unavailability. Encourage collaboration within your company on important dates. Also, collaborate externally with clients and customers.
Your business will be able to plan for any holiday that comes your way, including the long holidays in winter and the shorter holidays throughout the year. Your business can prepare well in advance for the holiday season with the tips above so that nothing falls through the cracks.
Even though it can be a very busy time for many, it doesn't need to become stressful. Planning well is a great way to reduce stress. As we enter the 2023 year, it is possible to make the holidays more enjoyable for both your business and customers if you all work together.
It's possible that you aren't quite ready for 2023 yet. You can position your business for success by making preparations now to make 2023 a successful year.