The holiday season is not called the most wonderful time of the year for no reason. People love the holidays! But for small business owners, the holidays may mean stressful days ahead not to mention costly too. The good news is that the holiday season never changes and it comes the same time year after year. Small business owners can therefore prepare ahead of time to enjoy the festivities instead of being stressed over it. You can survive the holiday madness and here’s how:
Know the dates.
There are days when a lot of people go shopping because of the numerous deals offered by most businesses. Find out the dates of these days, so you can prepare in terms of inventory, manpower, and offers.
– Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving and noted as the first day of traditional Christmas shopping.
– Small Business Saturday is the first Saturday after Thanksgiving. First observed in 2010, this day encourages shoppers to do their holiday shopping at their local physical stores and businesses.
– Cyber Sunday is a day to jumpstart Cyber Monday allowing online sellers to increase sales.
– Cyber Monday is always the Monday after Thanksgiving, this day is created to encourage online shopping.
– Giving Tuesday is a day dedicated to giving back or paying forward. It celebrates generosity and encourages giving goods or services to charities or communities.
– Green Monday usually falls on the second Monday of December, this is an online retail industry term to describe the best sales day in December.
– Free Shipping Day started in 2008. This is a promotional holiday to encourage shopping from even small online merchants then get free shipping and guaranteed delivery on or before Christmas Eve.
– Super Saturday is the last Saturday before Christmas Day and for a long time signaled the end of shopping day for the holidays.
– Last Sleigh Day – might just be the new end of holiday shopping season. It is typically the last day online buyers may place orders for expedited shipping. Orders may be received on Christmas Eve.
Knowing the busiest days of the shopping season is just half the battle. You still have marketing and human resources to consider during the holidays.
Connect with your customers.
Your customers are your lifeline in the business. You want to keep them and make them feel you value them no matter how busy the holidays make you. Ditch the generic holiday email because customers almost always just ignore those kinds of email. It does not have to be an expensive card or gift but customers would be more delighted to receive something from the mailbox. If you must send email though, make it more personal by sending a well-thought of message.
As a business owner, social responsibility is expected from you even if it is just within the community that supports your business. Get involved in programs that are geared towards helping the community or an organization that is close to your heart.
Spread the cheer among your employees.
Your staff also deserves the holidays. When your employees are happy, it reflects on how they handle their tasks and your customers. Decorate your office or store for the holidays. We all know offices and stores are drab for at least ten months in a year and a bit of color can definitely lift the mood during the holidays. Prepare your employee’s gifts and bonuses beforehand so you do not have to worry about it when December comes. Organize a small intimate office party. It does not have to be an expensive party but try to make it meaningful and cheerful.
Lastly, remember to enjoy the holidays yourself with family, friends, and colleagues. Sit back and relax as much as you can. There is no need to fret over things you cannot control as long you know you have prepared well enough for the holidays.