8 Last-Minute Tips to Prep Your Business for the Holidays

Paper snowflake cutouts.

The holidays are finally here. You’ve probably already planned your Thanksgiving dinner, thought about the presents you’ll get friends and family, and maybe even put a decoration up or two. But is your business ready?

According to our 2019 Shopping Trends, $998B was spent on holiday shopping in 2018. That’s the highest number to date, which means it is more important than ever for your business to be prepared for the holidays. Just think of how many sales you could be making! So don’t go screaming bah-humbug at the holiday decorations. Instead, think of how a string of tinsel or two around your store may have some positive benefits to your business’s sales. 

But wait, there’s myrrh! Keep reading to get some tips that will help you prep for the holidays—even at the last minute.

1. Set Employee Expectations  

Small business owners know that employees are vital for their business’s success. So for the business to have a great holiday season, the employees have to know what is expected of them.

Are store hours being extending? Make sure your employees know when they’ll be expected to work. Is time off going to be restricted due to the holiday rush? Let them know as soon as possible. 

On top of that, look back at how the last holiday season went. Did your business face certain challenges that can be prevented this year with more employee training? Help your employees (and your business!) this year by preparing them for what’s to come.

2. Decorate

The first thing customers notice when walking by your storefront is what it looks like. So, if the store next to yours is decked out in green and red while yours still looks like it did in August, customers may choose the other store since it brings out the warm and fuzzy holiday feelings. 

Getting people into your business is all about marketing, and decorating is the icing on the marketing cake for retailers. Best of all? You can do it in a matter of hours. 

3. Post Shipping Deadlines

While many customers are steady shoppers, there are still those who wait until the last minute to put in online order. So, posting your shipping deadlines so that your customers know the absolute last day to put in their orders is wise this time of year. 

By letting your customers know their holiday ordering deadlines, you’re creating a positive customer experience, which could lead to repeat shoppers throughout the year. 

Scalefactor eBook cover image

Holiday Consumer Trends to Help Your SMB

Shopping season is upon us.

5. Hire Temporary Workers

Is your store always busy and understaffed? It may be a good idea to hire some temporary workers. People are always looking to make some extra money during the holidays, so there is usually an abundance of workers to choose from. 

Don’t rush into hiring though. First make sure that your business can afford it by looking into the company’s financial statements then make sure you read up on the tax side of hiring temporary workers.

6. Taxes

It seems as though tax season springs up out of nowhere as soon as the holiday season ends—which means you should start thinking about them now. Since most sales and donations are made around the holidays, this would be a good time to start tracking down any tax documents you may need.

Did you make a tax-deductible holiday donation? Make sure you get some type of receipt or written documentation of the donation. Did you end up hiring temporary workers? Make sure you’ve got all the W-2 and W-4s you’ll need. By finding all of the tax information you need now, your business will reap the benefits in the new year.

7. Holiday Hours

While shoppers are trying to squeeze in a little more shopping after work, consider extending your hours this holiday season. Put yourself in the shoes of your customer and ask yourself whether staying open later might help them check off their shopping lists. If so, make sure to communicate your extended hours to them. 

Scalefactor eBook cover image

Holiday Consumer Trends to Help Your SMB

Shopping season is upon us.

8. Emails, Emails, Emails

Has your business tried email marketing? If it hasn’t then the holidays are a great time to start! Reward your loyal customers with discounts they can only get by subscribing to your emails, and use email as a way to highlight things like your extended store hours, gift guides, and other promotions you’re running. 

Don’t forget to make your email stand out though. Since many stores bombard customers with emails during this time of the year, make sure your emails will catch the customer’s eye. 

9. Plan Time Off For Yourself

Despite the holiday cheer, this time of the year can be a stressful time for a business owner. As much as you love your work, it’s important to take time off as a business owner  (difficult as that may be). Instead of feeling like you’re letting your work slide, think of time off as a way to recharge yourself to be a better leader and business owner.  You may even gain new perspectives that could help your business. 

You may have to put in extra time before leaving on vacation, but it’ll be worth it once you feel refreshed, recharged, and ready to tackle work in the new year.

Even though the holiday season is in full swing, it’s far from over. There is still time to get emails out, get shipping dates in order, prepare your employees, and so much more. If you want to read more about managing your business during the holidays, then make sure to check out our recent holiday blog posts

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