C O N T E N T S
The festive season is upon us! And you already know what that means – with Black Friday, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, and more on the horizon, getting ready for it can be daunting. You want to make sure you’re doing everything possible not to go broke, but at the same time, you don’t want to miss out on sales at the most important time of the year.
Business Tips to Financially Get Ready for the Holidays
For Businesses, the holidays can be the busiest and most profitable time of the year. Below are the top five things to budget for when gearing up for the holidays so that your business can financially prepare for the busy times ahead.
1. Capturing Relevant Holiday Business
Depending on your industry, the holidays could be the most important time of the year! To not feel the rush of the season, it would be best if you watched out for the following:
- Inventory. Of course, you must inspect and check your inventory before the season and during the holidays. Ensuring you have enough inventory is vital, especially during the holidays. There will always be a constant part of this push and pull factor. You should ask yourself: How much inventory do I need to prepare for the holiday? What and how will I sell my inventory? In addition, ask yourself if you have the cash flow to order these inventories in volumes that meet seasonal demand.
- Marketing Plans. Great marketing drives sales, especially during the holiday season. Therefore, you need well-researched and strategic marketing plans several months before the holidays. Don’t forget to keep an eye on your competitors while you’re at it. Competing businesses also want to maximize their sales during this time of the year, and you’re both playing in the same field. How will you stand out and catch customers’ attention with your discounts? Do you have a holiday-themed strategy that’s ready to be executed? Moreover, you should review last year’s sales to help you execute a marketing campaign. Historical sales help you identify which products sold best and the type of marketing that yielded the best results.
Cash flow. This is always a balancing act when it comes to the holiday season. Add up all your cash flow and ask yourself if you are ready for the holidays. This includes the cash you must spend on marketing, inventory, client appreciation, and everyday fixed and variable expenses. Assess your business’s holiday costs; ensure that you have enough funds to cover them and that you’re financially ready for the holiday frenzy so you don’t miss out on sales.
- Holiday staff. If you’re in the retail business, you know the importance of having a full team during the holiday rush. In fact, you may hire seasonal employees to accommodate the influx of customers. E-commerce businesses will also see an influx of orders, requiring additional staff to help pack and deliver products. The labor market is tight, so it’s always a smart idea to hire additional help well before the holiday season.
2. Increase New Sales with a Great Holiday Theme
An eye-catching holiday theme is a phenomenal way to lift your customers’ spirits and drive sales simultaneously. Setting a budget for when your business theme needs to match the holidays is essential.
- Mailout Cards. Sending seasonal greeting cards to customers shows that you are thinking about them during the holidays. Staying in touch with them this way can help keep your business on their minds and make them feel special. Make creative holiday cards and add a voucher to get them to visit your store.
- Holiday Markets. What better time than the holidays to get involved? You can sell your items through these seasonal shopping events and gain exposure at the same time. Moreover, become a part of the holiday market, and grow your clientele.
- Online Holiday Specials. A big YES! One profit booster is running holiday specials through your website or social media platforms. Make sure you have an updated and optimized website. Plan out different holiday specials you’ll offer and start a checklist to ensure everything is covered. Most importantly, make sure you let people know about your holiday specials a few weeks before Thanksgiving, so they can buy from you when they are ready to begin their holiday shopping spree.
3. Gift Bonuses for Employees/Increase Employee Morale
There is no denying that the holiday season is the busiest for most businesses. With this in mind, your staff will likely work more hours than at any other time of the year. You need to boost employee morale and show appreciation for their hard work throughout this hectic time of the year. What better way to show appreciation than gift bonuses for your employees? Give them cash bonuses or gift cards, or host a holiday party if you can afford it. The bottom line is that a small gesture goes a long way during the holidays.
4. The Year-End Preparation
Ask yourself a few questions about the end of the year:
- Are your books prepared?
- Do you need a bookkeeper?
- How did your taxes go this year, even if you had an extension?
- Is your payroll up-to-date?
It 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 how your business is doing financially this year and how you can do better. So don’t wait until December or January! Schedule the appointment and start thinking about and preparing for year-end.
5. Customer Appreciation
Know that customers are the lifeblood of any business. Just like how you appreciate your team, you must show your customers the same gesture and appreciation. And, of course, the holidays are the best times to do so! Thank them for their continued loyalty. Some ways to show your gratitude include:
- Holiday cards for existing customers
- Special discounts over the holidays
- Gifts for selected clients
- Gifts bags for when they come in and purchase something
After learning the best ways to get ready for the holiday season from a business owner’s point of view, it’s time for some personal tips. Find out the best of the best notes that you should remember.
Check out the 2nd part of our holiday series by visiting our website!