Are you ready for the holidays? Or is it too early in the fall for that? Well, it’s not always a bad idea to spend time thinking and planning ahead for the holiday. For Businesses, the holidays can be your busiest and most profitable time of the year. This is a great opportunity to reach out to old customers, and also gain new customers, the more reason to get everythingready ahead!Below, I talk about the top five things to consider budgeting for, when gearing up for the holidays, so that your business can financially get ready for what’s to come in this coming busy season.
1. Capturing Relevant Holiday Business
What do I mean by this? Depending on your industry, this may be the height of your year! But IS your business FINANCIALLY ready?
- Inventory. If you are in retail whether it’s E-commerce or a Retail Store, think about your inventory, how much will you need to have to get ready for the holiday? What and how will you sell? You’ll need to decide which products you want to sell and do you have the cash flow to order these inventories in such volume for the holiday season? There’s always this push and pull on what inventories to carry and how much to carry over the holidays so you won’t miss potential sales.
- Marketing Plans. What plans do you have to market your products when everyone else is doing the same thing? Will you be part of the noise? Or do you have some concrete plans to stand out and capture a customer’s attention with your offers and discounts? What holiday-themed marketing strategy will you implement? Do you have last year’s data to help you decide on your approach for this year to help significantly boost your sales? What plans do you have to retain old customers as well as gain new ones?
- Cash flow. Figure out your cash flow. Is it ready for the holiday season? This is crucial in order to figure out how much money you want to put towards marketing, or towards inventory, or even for customer appreciation, and more. Assess your business’ holiday expenses; ensure that you have enough necessary funds to cover and that you’re financially ready for when the holiday frenzy comes.
- Holiday staff. Especially when you are in the retail business, you might staff up ahead for the holidays and hire additional people because there’s going to be an influx of people coming into your store. Same thing if you are in the E-commerce business, there’ll be a lot more orders and you might have to have a lot more people come in to help pack and deliver. Planning ahead whether to hire more help or not will give you the advantage in figuring out the help you’ll need.
2. Increase New Sales with Holiday Theme
This is probably the most important and essential thing, no matter what business you are in. It’s important to set a budget for when your business theme will need to match with the holidays.
- Mailout Cards. Sending seasonal greeting cards to customers shows that you’ve been thinking about them during the holidays. Communicating in this manner can help keep your business relevant in their minds, and also make your customer feel special. Make creative holiday cards; personalize by sending handwritten cards, although time-consuming, it’s very meaningful and goes a long way. Along with passing your hello and year-end thank you to your customer, you could add in a coupon to get them to visit your store.
- Holiday markets. This is also a really good opportunity for you to get involved in, especially for small businesses who want to support their community. Through these seasonal shopping events, you can sell your items, increase your business exposure, be a part of the holiday market, and expand your clientele.
- Online holiday specials. One profit booster is also offering and promoting holiday specials through your website or any of your social media platforms. Make sure your website is updated and optimized. Plan in advance the kind of holiday specials you’ll offer and what needs to be done for it to be a success. Make sure you have all the holiday specials out even way before the holidays, such as before Thanksgiving, to give customers enough time to be able to buy your promotions.
3. Bonuses for Employees/Increase Employee Morale
The holiday season might be the busiest for your business, and the pace of work will increase for your staff. The more reason to increase employee morale and show your appreciation for their hard work and contribution to the company throughout the year. If you can afford it-cash bonuses, which everybody loves: gift cards, gift items, holiday parties, consider giving these as a holiday treat for your employees.
4. Year-End Preparation
Are your books in place? If not, do you need a bookkeeper? How did your taxes go this year even if you had an extension? Are your payrolls up-to-date? This is a great time for you to schedule an appointment with your CPA, you get to talk about not only your tax strategy for the year-end but also talk about how your business did financially this year, and how you can do better. So don’t wait until December or January, start the appointment now and start thinking and preparing for year-end.
5. Customer Appreciation
Customers are the lifeblood of any business. And during the holidays, it’s important that you show them your appreciation for their continued patronage to your business. Some ways to show your appreciation are through:
- holiday cards for existing customers
- special discounts over the holidays
- gifts for selected clients
- gifts bags, for when they come in and purchase something
Don’t forget that you are in business because of your customers so a little year-end thank you can go a long way. Without your customers, your business won’t thrive so remember that well. Incorporate this into your marketing strategy through coupons, freebies, gift bags, or even make it a Customer Appreciation Day! Make sure that you set a budget for extra expenses like these.
The holidays can be a great and profitable opportunity but with it accompany expenses. While your aim might be to increase your revenue this holiday, your finances might not be able to keep up with that. So, while there’s still a bit of time before the holidays, create a financial plan, simplify your finances, set budgets for the five things we considered in this blog and see where your finances are at. If you need upkeep on your finances so that you can focus on your business as the owner, Nave Bookkeeping is your go-to for that! Feel free to reach out through Facebook, Nave Bookkeeping, LLC.