Prepare your business for the holiday rush

September 23, 2013 - Tags: Customers Managing Sales

How well your business performs during its peak sales period could mean the difference between finishing the year with a profit or a loss. For many businesses, that period falls during the holiday season. A smart plan of action can help you reach your sales targets and avoid chaos.

The holidays can leave you feeling less organized than usual. Prepare your business for the upcoming rush by strengthening your team.

  • Ensure that a strong management presence is in place if you can't be there.
  • Before hiring for the rush, you may want to have a well-reviewed set of résumés ready so that you have quick access to a pool of potential candidates.
  • Cross-train so employees are prepared in all areas; offer incentives for working during the holidays.

To maintain excellent customer service, you may want to strengthen customer support. To manage your emails, an automatic-response system can help you address customer demands. You may also want to partner with a third-party service provider for after-hours call coverage.

For a smooth season, there may be more adjustments you can make in terms of promotions, profit, and efficiency:

  • Take inventory of what you have and what will be in-demand for the busy season. Knowing your expected weekly volumes will help you prepare.
  • Introduce special products to generate interest. Holiday-themed products or bundles can help attract consumers.
  • Communicate shipping deadlines to eliminate confusion. Consider using additional carrier services to cover rush shipping.
  • Avoid unwelcome surprises by testing your website before a traffic spike to see how your server handles it.

Looking ahead, a post-peak follow up can help you evaluate your performance and determine how next year's rush should be conducted.

The holiday season can be a great time of year to boost your business' profit. While you can't control all that the season may bring, creating a solid team and covering all your operational bases can make it an enjoyable and beneficial time for you and your business.

For more help on running your business smoothly, visit our day-to-day operations section.

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