The holidays have arrived. For a small business, this is Go Time. This is when most businesses make their money for the whole year. And then there’s Black Friday, Cyber Monday, sidewalk sales, quick pop-up’s, and special one-time sales exclusives. There’s even a day dedicated to small businesses with Small Business Saturday. Many businesses are finding new ways to generate cash during the holiday season, but is yours?

According to CNBC, retail sales are expected to grow between five or six percent with consumers spending over a trillion dollars this year, thanks to record unemployment along with strong market confidence. E-commerce alone is expected to jump twenty-two percent as more and more shoppers opt for the convenience of one-click shopping and avoiding the crowds.

While customers drive massive amounts of foot traffic during the holidays, they’re shopping online well beyond your store’s “open” hours. Having the right kind of infrastructure is critical for that holiday success.

Have you considered all of the things — big and small —  that you can do to prepare for the gift-giving season? Have no fear, ScaleFactor’s got your back.

Start Promoting Early

As soon as November 1st rolls around, start promoting sales, holidays hours, specials – everything. There’s no excuse for lazy promotional efforts, especially when the big box stores have unlimited budgets that give way to prime visibility.

Stock Up On Inventory

Seems like a no-brainer, but have you stocked up on inventory? Have you counted all of your back stock? Making sure you have enough of your popular and consistent sellers is a perfect place to start when getting ready for the rush. Not sure what items to stock up on? Do your research to find the items that are expected to fly off the shelves in your industry. Go through your storeroom and make sure everything has been accounted for, and then place that big order, like now.

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Hire Part-Time Help

Many folks are looking to make a few extra bucks during the holidays. Start screening applicants now so that you can lock up a few steady hands to cover the longer shifts and help your full-time employees.

Run Social Media Campaigns

If you want to drum up interest for one of your products, why not do a giveaway? Figure out which of your social media platforms people respond to, and utilize that audience. Offer a prize to whoever shares your promotional photo across their network. This way, you’ve increased visibility for little to no cost.

Try a Few PPC Campaigns (Pay Per Click)

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram all offer packages to get users to click your link. For as little as $10 you can get in front of targeted buyers who share your interests and could be potential buyers.

Throw a Holiday Party

Go all out. Fire up the grill or invite the food truck to set up out in front, but make it an event. Get people excited about your holiday sales, offer special deals, maybe even a buy one, get one free. It’s cost-effective to create excitement with a few signs, some music, and a friendly environment. Offer a few free gifts with purchase to sweeten the deal, and before you know it, people will be excited to shop with you. This is an ultra-easy win.

Make Some Videos

You can shoot video from your iPhone, and in today’s market, people are used to seeing videos shot at a moment’s notice. Use platforms like Periscope or Facebook live to your advantage. Show your customers what you have planned in real time, and maybe take a few questions to make it feel that much more real.

Decorate Your Store

Put up a tree, light the menorah, get a Festivus pole – just do what feels right. There are plenty of fun ways you can make your store more lively by adding a little holiday flair for the passersby to see that you’re in the holiday spirit. It’s also a great way to attract new customers through your doors. People can’t help falling in love with a killer display.

What’s your business doing this holiday season? We’d love to know how you’re getting out there, getting people to notice your business!

Brett Fox &Brett Fox
Senior Marketing Specialist