Consumers spend money throughout the year, but few times are as lucrative for businesses as the holiday season. As a small business, holidays may bring feelings of pressure and competition from larger retailers. However, by following the right strategies and keeping in mind certain tips, your business and your employees can experience a successful holiday season.
Preparing for the Holidays with Your Employees and Your Customers
While it’s important to have a holiday prep plan for your customers during the holidays, it’s also important to prepare your employees. After all, your employees are the key to your small company's success. Without your team at the ready, your holiday season may not reach its full potential for profit.
Preparing for a Holiday with Your Employees
The focus is not necessarily to get your team in the holiday spirit; recall that everyone has their own reasons for why they do or do not celebrate conventional holidays. However, you should get your employees on the same page as your holiday season goals while demonstrating appreciation for them and their hard work.
Demonstrating gratitude to your team is crucial. When your team feels appreciated and valued, they are more likely to deliver high-quality results. The way you choose to show your appreciation will depend on your business and industry, but here are a few ideas.
1. Verbal Appreciation
Verbal appreciation is always important. A generic group “thank you” is nice but feels impersonal. Instead, try scheduling a one-on-one meeting with each member of the team. It doesn’t have to be long; it can be five minutes or less. The point of the meeting is to tell them in person what you appreciate about their work and why.
If that’s not feasible for your schedule, you can write an email or a card to each member of the team. The key here is to offer a “why.” It’s not enough to say you appreciate their work. You want them to know why you appreciate them. This extra step will create a better bond with your team while putting them in a more positive mindset for the holiday season.
2. Consider Giving Bonuses
At the end of the day, people work for money. If it’s feasible for your business, consider giving bonuses to the team during the holidays.
3. Time Off or Overtime
Another way you can show appreciation is by giving time off for the holidays or offering paid holiday time or paid overtime.
4. Holiday Party
Finally, consider throwing a holiday party. The party can be casual, like a midday potluck, or you can treat your team to happy hour or dinner. This time is a good opportunity for everyone to build rapport and enjoy themselves before returning to work.
Preparing for a Lucrative Holiday Season
Once you have invested in your employees for the holiday season, it’s time to get your business on track. Here are some ways to have a successful holiday season for your business.
1. Increase Membership Benefits
People are going to spend money during the holidays. What’s important is making sure they’re spending money with you vs. your competitors. If your business has any type of membership or loyalty program, now’s the time to ramp up those rewards! Consumers love getting rewards, holiday sales, and cash back on items they purchase. Make sure your coupons and rewards are well-advertised, so consumers are more likely to shop with you.
2. Use Data to Predict Trends
In this digital age, data is your best friend. You can use data to forecast trends in shopping preferences to better manage your inventory overall. Using data and automation in this way can save you money in the long-term. This information helps you avoid dead stock but also manage spending money on seasonal employees.
3. Offer Competitive Pricing
Surveys show that the majority of U.S. consumers will shop at a different store if the price is better. Keep your pricing competitive, and if possible, offer a price match guarantee.
4. Leverage E-Commerce
While in-person shopping is still popular among consumers (and growing in popularity among young consumers!), the majority of consumers want the option to shop online. Some of the reasons people prefer to shop online include time and convenience.
With online shopping, consumers can avoid the holiday crowds and the hustle and bustle of waiting in line for extended periods of time. Additionally, due to the pandemic, consumers have gotten used to online shopping. Some individuals simply may not have the time to shop in person. In other cases, the product they want is not local to them, and they must shop online. To stay relevant with your consumer base, leverage e-commerce when you can.
5. Get Started Sooner Rather than Later
Reports show that consumers start shopping as early as October for major holidays like Christmas. Your holiday deals, loyalty programs, and any additional strategies you have in place to ramp up your holiday season should start in early fall. Furthermore, you should do your data processing and trend forecasting as soon as possible.
6. Secure Business Funding
Optimizing your online store, ramping up advertising and promotions, and hiring seasonal staff all cost money. These tips for having a successful holiday season are possible through business funding.
LOCs and business loans can cover a variety of your business needs, including:
- Holiday decor
- Engagement holidays
- Improvements to an online store
- Advertising costs
- Trend forecasting
- Data automation
- Email campaigns
- Gifts to partners and vendors
Don’t go unprepared. Make this holiday season your most lucrative and successful with the right tools. Idea Financial offers flexible term loans and lines of credit of up to $250K with 9- to 36-month terms. With Idea Financial, you:
- Control what you draw, when you draw, and what day you pay
- Can make repayments early without penalty
- Get same-day decisions and next-day funding
- Pay minimal interest rates
Apply for business funding today or call our line to learn how Idea Financial can help charge your business forward!