11 Innovative Ways To Prep Your Business for the Inevitable Holiday Rush

Photo Source: Adobe Stock

Black Friday weekend marks the beginning of the most important time of year for businesses, both small and large. From then until the end of the year, customers will flood the stores, ready to spend money on gifts for their loved ones. If you want people to spend their money with you this holiday season, you’ll need to prepare your business well in advance. 

“The phrase ‘you can never be too prepared’ had to have been referencing holiday sales. If you don’t prepare your business well enough, you’ll drown in the sheer volume of the season,” says Shideh Kaviani, President of Naked Wardrobe

If you are looking for tips to better survive the inevitable holiday rush, look no further. Here, we are going to cover eight innovative methods to better prepare for the busiest time of year. Keep reading to find out more.

1. Get Organized Early

It’s never too early to prepare your business for the holiday rush. The sooner you prepare for the end-of-year chaos, the more likely you will have a smooth holiday shopping season. Most successful businesses start their preparations around the end of summer or the beginning of fall.

“Organization is key when it comes to every facet of business. If you don’t have a strong system in place, you will struggle to keep up during the busiest parts of the year,” mentions Shaunak Amin, CEO and Co-Founder of SwagMagic

Start by putting together a plan of action. Consider what you learned from the last holiday season and decide what worked and what didn’t. Prioritize preparing inventory, staffing, marketing, seasonal decor, and holiday sales ahead of time. 

2. Order Supplies in Advance

One of the most important things to do ahead of the holiday season is to secure adequate inventory and supplies. Start this process by looking into last year’s order volume to get an idea of how much product you went through. If you plan to offer extras like a gift with purchase or gift-wrapping services, you’ll need to account for that, too. 

“Be kind to your suppliers. You have to remember that the holiday season is just as busy for them as it is for you. Give them plenty of advance notice if your order changes from what is normal for you. Everyone has to work together to help things run smoothly,” says Cody Candee, Founder and CEO of Bounce

Being prepared also includes stocking extra inventory if you can accommodate additional products. 

3. Hire Seasonal Workers

Hiring seasonal workers to help assist customers, process sales, and stock inventory can greatly reduce the stress of the holiday season. It’ll help take pressure off your existing employees during times when hours are expanded, but people want to take time off. 

“Seasonal hiring should be done intentionally. Make sure that your permanent employees don’t feel overworked from 16-hour days or lack of planning on your part,” suggests Sara Alshamsi, Founder and CEO of Big Heart Toys

Start thinking about hiring seasonal workers well in advance of the holiday season. If your business requires additional workers to handle the volume of the holidays, give yourself plenty of time to get them trained and ready. There is no time to train when the holiday season hits, so it needs to be done by Black Friday weekend. 

4. Prepare Your Team

Existing employees may need additional training and preparation to get them ready for the holidays. In the weeks leading up to the rush, go over sales techniques, company policies, and customer service standards. This will help everyone feel less stressed as the season approaches. 

“Just as you would prepare your inventory, website, or social media for the holiday season, you should also prepare your staff. If this is their first holiday season on your team, make sure they are ready for what’s to come,” advises Dorothy Pun, Founder of Knitup.

Your team members should also be up to date on any new products or holiday gifts you’re offering. Make sure they are well versed on how to properly answer customer questions about these products to better help them make sales. 

5. Update Your Website

If your business is exclusively online, put most of your focus into updating your website. Even if you operate in-store as well, if you have any online operations, you will want to take some steps to prepare. While many people prefer to shop in person during the holidays, consumers often look at company websites to check for holiday hours, seasonal promotions, and more. 

“The busiest time of the year is no time for a technological meltdown. Make sure your systems are ready for an increase in sales volume, and consider updating or automating where you can,” suggests Monte Deere, CEO of Kizik, a company known for their line of stylish and comfortable pregnancy shoes.

Make sure all your information is up to date and that your website is operating without error. Always remember to display accurate shipping times, especially as the holidays get closer. 

6. Decorate Your Website

All businesses benefit from leaning into holiday decor. Festive and flashy visuals are great at drawing in customers during the highly competitive holiday season. Display information about sales and shipping times prominently and showcase any holiday-exclusive products you have in stock. 

“People love a good theme. Don’t miss out on an easy opportunity to bring in holiday shoppers by covering your website with holiday cheer in the form of snowflakes, Christmas lights, and holly berries,” says Susan Kim Shaffer, President and Co-Founder of Pneuma Nitric Oxide.

The holidays are the perfect time to capitalize on the feel-good visuals and imagery that come with the season. If you don’t have an in-house design department, hire a digital designer to update your website.

7. Determine Sales/Discount Codes

Photo Source: Adobe Stock

A great way to spread sales volume is to strategically offer discount codes or run flash sales. This can help prevent you from becoming overloaded early on. You can also start to anticipate if you’ll need to get rid of extra inventory a couple of weeks out from the holidays so you can discount accordingly. 

“Based on current macro-economic indicators and our proprietary credit card data, we believe the consumer will continue to be pressured in 2023, particularly in the first half, and have planned inventory mix and depth of initial buys accordingly,” mentions Jeff Gennette, CEO of Macy’s.

This is why it’s important to plan and offer sales. Black Friday weekend kicks off the holiday shopping season and is the best time to rack up some extra sales as you head into the final month of the year. If you want to bring in business during the busy weekend, you’ll have to be prepared with deals and discounts. 

8. Prepare for Volume

While decor and discounts are essential for the success of your website during the holiday season, there is nothing more important than having technology that can keep up. If your website isn’t up to the task of handling volume, it’s time to ditch that outdated technology. 

“How did your website perform last holiday season? If your answer is anything but amazing, start fixing the issues in advance to avoid a repeat of last year,” points out Nabeel Abdullah, CEO of Sapphire.

Additionally, ensure that your inventory tracking system can display accurate information. If people are expecting to receive gifts you don’t have in stock, you could turn customers away forever.  

9. Update Your Shop

If you have brick-and-mortar locations, you’ll need to get those locations ready in addition to your online shop. This can include anything from rearranging the layout of your shop to accommodate more customers to updating outdated POS systems. And, of course, don’t forget to decorate with plenty of festive holiday pieces to bring people in. 

“While the excitement of decorating your store may pull your focus, don’t let it overshadow the technical aspects. You’ll need to update computer systems, train additional staff, and prepare to extend your hours too,” says Julia Kahlig-Garuba, CEO & Founder of Herb & Root

Another thing to consider while updating your shop is your holiday hours. Will you stay open later? Will you close or offer limited hours on the actual day? Consider these factors before setting up displays that list your hours. 

10. Create Marketing Materials

Marketing materials are also vital for the holiday season. None of the above matters if you can’t bring people to your store or website. Start preparing email campaigns, advertising materials, and social media content early in the fall. 

“I think we’re going to see a more normal kind of holiday cadence where, you know, November, December, it’s really going to ramp up and there’s going to be lots of products and lots of choices for consumers on the shelf,” points out Chris Cocks, CEO of Hasbro.

Use what makes you unique at the forefront of your marketing materials. Remember, you are competing with just about every other business in the world during this time, so try to make yourself stand out a bit!

11. Increase Social Media Efforts

Put an extra focus on your social media pages during the holiday season. If you normally stay pretty quiet on your socials, this is the time to get loud. Be bold and use all the holiday themes and imagery you can. Increase your post volume and display any new products or sales on all channels. 

“Social media is a business’s greatest marketing tool. Use it to help yourself stand out from the competition in times when everyone is vying for the same customers,” recommends Jason Zhang, CTO of Tapin.GG, a company that helps video game players succeed with the help of their LoL boosting services. 

Don’t be afraid to pay for social media ad campaigns to attract customers during this time. You can also use tactics like posting branded gift guides or videos of customers using your products. Create a strategy ahead of time to ensure you have the best social media execution. 

Get Ready for the Rush

Don’t let the threat of a busy holiday season overwhelm you. End-of-the-year sales create one of the most lucrative times for businesses, so make the most of it. If you prepare accordingly, you’ll be sure to ride the wave rather than drowning in the tide. 

Author Profile

Lee Clarke
Lee Clarke
Business And Features Writer

Email https://markmeets.com/contact-form/

Leave a Reply