Five ways your business can survive the holidays

Don’t just survive the holidays, aim to finish the year with strong sales.

In between decorating your house and shopping for big family meals, there are some things that entrepreneurs have to do while most people slow down to enjoy the holidays. However, if you prep your business right, you may be on the receiving end and finish the year with strong sales.

Here are five ways your business can secure a spot on your customers’ holiday shopping list.

  1. It’s never too early to plan—EVER

We know it’s tempting to procrastinate and get swept up in picnics and beach trips. It may feel like you have more time, but if you don’t prepare, you’ll find yourself working through an endless to-do list all the way through Christmas lunch. The secret to getting through the busiest time of the year is having a game plan.

Reviewing stats from previous years is great for outlining your needs for the coming months. By having facts on hand, you can decide whether you need longer operating hours, hire seasonal workers, setup a call overflow solution or shut up shop on certain days.

  1. Get in on the fun

The great thing about small businesses is having free rein on your marketing strategy to get creative and gain an edge over retail big boys. The most effective strategies are those that don’t cost thousands of dollars. Something as simple as offering lollies at the register or free gift wrapping with every purchase can instantly get your customers in the spirit.

Thanks to the internet, anyone with a great idea can get access to a broader audience at little cost. So don’t forget to dress up your website and social media to fit the festive mood. Great visuals and content that triggers a sense of nostalgia are proven ways to keep your customers engaged.

  1. Turn customer pain points into wins

While this season is all about fun with friends and family, there are some things that undoubtedly ruin the festive mood, but as an entrepreneur, you should see these as opportunities to impress customers.

One strategy that’s gaining steam is “buy online and pick up.” Your customers basically order through your website and claim their items in store. This takes away the stress of getting deliveries late or receiving the wrong item, while driving foot traffic to you. By getting paying customers in your store, you’re increasing the likelihood of an additional purchase.

  1. Recognise your staff for their hard work

This season comes with a lot of added stress for businesses and your team’s happiness at work has a direct impact on their performance. By showing gratitude and rewarding them for their efforts, they will feel more confident about their role and treat your customers in the best way possible.

  1. Treat yourself—you deserve it!

Studies show that entrepreneurs can go as much as two years without taking time off. While it’s easy to feel guilty about taking time for yourself, there are a wide range of hosted applications and live answering services that can help lighten your load, while keeping customers happy even as you and your staff spend time away from work. By recharging your batteries and resting your mind, you can come back with bigger and better ideas to kick off another year.

Trent Brinsley, General Manager, Alltel