With summer wrapping up, it’s already time to plan ahead for the holiday season. Fall is when many businesses, especially retail stores, start to get busy. Soon after autumn arrives, Thanksgiving is here. With November comes Black Friday and the kick-off of the holiday season.
So, if you want to get ahead, now is the time to strategically put together your marketing plan, inventory, and much more. It’s crucial to be proactive, as you don’t want to get overwhelmed or waste money.
To help prepare your small business for the holiday season, here are six things to consider.
Make A Strategic Inventory Plan
One of the biggest challenges of the holiday season is keeping the right amount of inventory in stock or at least easily accessible. You want to have enough so that you don’t run out. If you sell out before the holidays, you’ll lose money for your business.
On the other hand, you don’t want to overstock. With too much excess stock, you’ll lose money, and you may wind up with lots of holiday inventory that you can only sell at significant discounts.
While every business has to determine their own inventory approach, some ideas to help include using an inventory counter app and carefully researching sell trends from previous years.
Make Social Media Calendars
A social media calendar is an easy way to organize your social posts ahead of time. If you’re not using this idea already, now could be an excellent time to start. You or your employees will create social posts, plus any included media, hashtags, or promotions, and put them on a calendar. A spreadsheet is usually a simple way to do this.
You can also use various third-party apps to schedule these posts. This means the calendar is set to go before the holiday season kicks off and you have less time to focus on marketing. These plans also ensure that your social media profiles stay active and consistent, especially when potential customers want to purchase from you over the holidays.
As you create a social media calendar, include a good balance of holiday-related posts, product highlights, and other engaging content.
Upgrade Your Website
Along with working on social media posts for the holiday season, it’s also wise to update or improve your business website. While an overhaul might not be in the budget, ensure you keep the site active and aesthetically pleasing.
Working on your website is also vital for SEO, or search engine optimization purposes. If you want to ensure your website shows up on the search engine results in your area, you should aim for posting a new, relevant blog post once every week or two.
Develop Or Stock New Products
While it’s not always possible, ordering or developing new products for the holidays is a good idea. You may want to offer seasonal products, especially if in the retail or food industry.
With newer products or services, you can attract a broader clientele during one of the most crucial times of the year.
Even if you normally don’t have much money for ads, online advertisements may be worth the investment for the holidays. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to create a successful ad, so consider running a promotion on social media to attract both current and potential customers.
If you have an in-person store, don’t forget to get festive. Regardless of the aesthetic of your storefront, you can find a way to capture attention.
For a more classic and inclusive look, decorate with winter-themed items and white lights. Or, if you’re trying for a cozier feel, get inspired by evergreen forests and bright holiday lights.
By following these five ideas, you’ll be more prepared than ever before for the excitement and business of the holidays.