How to Prepare Your Business for the Summer Holidays
5 Summer Holiday Preparation Tips for Small Business Owners:
1. Safety First
One of the often-overlooked details regarding holiday preparation is safety. Whether you are transferring extra inventory to a warehouse, or traveling in inclement weather, be sure to plan ahead to prevent any accidents from occurring.
You can follow these simple holiday safety tips as a basic guideline:
- Don’t overcrowd the store or warehouse with inventory and/or decorations. This also goes for patrons; ensure that your location doesn’t exceed the number of people allowed in your building.
- Make sure that any of the extra staff hired on for seasonal work can be trusted with machinery, inventory and money.
- Depending on where you live, watch for bad weather conditions and avoid them when possible.
- Have working cameras in the open during business hours and closing time to lessen the opportunity for theft.
2. Advertise Holiday Sales
Setting up a marketing plan to effectively promote your holiday sales is one of the best ways to make sure that your summer season is enjoyable and profitable.
For summer holidays, consider placing taglines like “Memorial Day Sale,” or “20% OFF This Father’s Day!” in ideal locations throughout your store or website. Then plan how you want to reach your customers and make sure that all of your marketing efforts lead them to the end sale. Consider posting on social media, sending email newsletters and advertising locally to spread the word about your promotions.
3. Manage the Staff
If you want to keep your doors open during business hours on a holiday, make sure that you have the right amount of staff members working in order to be able to function comfortably. A person can do almost anything for a short amount of time, and that includes working extra hours over the weekend if necessary. But overworking your team without the right incentives, or without plenty of advanced warning, and you might be asking for staff complaints.
Depending on the culture of your business, it’s also important to keep an open perspective when dealing with holiday vacations on days that some of your staff might not celebrate. Knowing whom on your team prefers to vacation on what holiday is also a great way to guarantee that there’s always someone willing to work a holiday.
4. Organize Inventory
Having too much inventory gathering dust on your shelves is just as detrimental to your business as having too little inventory stocked up for the holidays. Make sure to keep track of how certain items sell during certain seasons, and plan according for upcoming holiday weekends.
If you want to release new inventory during a holiday sale, plan enough in advance so that you can use the extra time as a cushion in case any problems arise when creating, shipping or handling the new product line.
5. Use Festive Decorations
By using fun, seasonal decorations either in your retail store, or on your website (with colorful images and text), you attract customers who might not have noticed your holiday promotions otherwise.
Use consistent colors that match your branding in order to create an aesthetically pleasing experience. For example, if your typical color scheme is pastel, don’t use bright flags and fireworks during the Fourth of July. Instead, choose a softer group of patriotic colors that fit your unique brand.
More than anything else, holiday preparation is all about planning ahead. As Dan Sevigny of Christmas Tree Brooklyn says, “The most important thing business owners can do to prepare for the Holiday rush is to plan. The second most important thing to do is plan some more. Seriously, you can’t be well enough prepared.”
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