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Holiday season is coming soon, and if you’re a retail business, that means you’re about to get busy. Taking the time now to prepare can help to set up your small business for success once the season begins. As you create a plan for the holidays, here are some questions to ask yourself to keep yourself on the right track:

Do you have holiday promotions planned?

Plenty of people are trying to shop around the holidays. To direct those shoppers towards your business, you should be implementing holiday promotions. With more people looking to spend, putting out compelling deals and special promotions can help draw customers to your business over your competitors. You may put certain products on sale, offer discounted bundles, or even offer a free gift for those who purchase during the holidays. Whatever promotions you choose to do, it’s important that you’ve created a set plan in advance so that they can be effective.

Once you have decided what kinds of holiday promotions you want to implement, you need to create a detailed marketing plan for sharing these deals out. Putting together a promotional calendar can help you pace out any sales you want to do and allow you to time your marketing efforts accordingly. Scheduling out your promotions and marketing can help potential customers become aware of your holiday deals and give them enough time to utilize them.

Is your website up to date?

While brick-and-mortar purchases still make up a majority of consumer spending, online shopping is steadily on the rise. If ecommerce is a primary aspect of your business, you need to make sure that your online store is accurately showcasing your inventory and functioning properly. Check that your payment processor is working smoothly and that pages are loading quickly so that online customers are having a seamless experience during their holiday shopping.

However, even if customers aren’t making purchases online, many will still be going to your site to browse around or get more information on your business. According to a study done in 2022, over 238 million people in the US aged 14 years and above look at or research products online in a year, even if they aren’t making their purchase online. One way to convert these online window shoppers into actual customers is by having a website that is aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate. Update your website so that it is organized and modern to improve your visitors’ online experience. You may even consider making a special landing page dedicated to seasonal shopping where these customers can easily see all your holiday promotions. Making these small edits to your site can make a big difference in your holiday season success.

Do you have enough inventory?

You don’t want to run out of product and lose out on potential business. Before the holiday season begins, ensure that your inventory is fully stocked so that you’re ready for the influx of holiday shoppers. Get ahead of delays by stocking up on inventory sooner rather than later, especially on any products that have historically sold out quickly during the holiday season.

This is also why it’s important to have your holiday deals planned out ahead of time. If you’re running promotions on certain items, you should have an excess of that particular product so that you can accommodate for the increase in people purchasing them.

Are you fully staffed?

In such a busy season, it’s important you have the appropriate amount of staff. The uptake of business can lead to workers becoming pulled thin if there are not enough of them. Make sure you have the right amount of people necessary on your staff to ensure the holiday season goes by smoothly.

If your team needs extra support, you could also bring on some seasonal helpers. It’s easier than ever to find expert freelancers thanks to platforms like Upwork or Fiverr. You can get support for just about any aspect of your business, from email marketing and design to customer service. Bringing on this extra help can set up your team for success in the holidays and may also lead to success in the long run if you are able to create an ongoing relationship with these freelancers and gain their help long after the holidays are over.

Do you have your finances in order?

It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday hustle and bustle – don’t allow yourself to forget your business basics in the meantime. Staying on top of your financial tasks such as bookkeeping or budgeting is important at any time of the business year, but especially during such a busy season. Take some of the stress off by utilizing features of a Grasshopper account such as automated bookkeeping and scheduled bill pay. These kinds of features make it easier for you to keep your finances in order and free up time for your holiday planning.

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