Christmas may be the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be the most stressful because of the holiday rush. Most folks are in doubling down on deliverables at work, trying to get all the necessary paperwork, documents, and court filings in order before the year ends. That doesn’t even include the madness that goes around with hordes of people getting their Christmas shopping done.
Although the latter won’t be much of a problem this year because of the pandemic, it still doesn’t mean that it won’t be busy at work. Is your business prepared for the holiday rush?
7 Ways to Prepare Your Business for the Holiday Rush
1. Take note of significant dates
The holiday season usually starts when October comes in. But even during the summer, some stores have Christmas-themed items for sale that you can get at discounted prices.
- November 26 – Thanksgiving Day: When most discounting starts in retail.
- November 27 – Black Friday: The year’s biggest shopping event
- November 28 – Small Business Saturday: A day when consumers are encouraged to shop locally. ;
- November 30 – Cyber Monday: The day to get the best online sales and deals.
- December 1 – Giving Tuesday: Kicks off the holiday season by encouraging people to donate money, time, and other goods to charity.
- December 14 – Green Monday: One of retail’s most profitable days because holiday shoppers do their last-minute shopping to take advantage of deals
- December 25 – Christmas Day: Most retail shops are closed.
- December 26 – Boxing Day: Retail shops reopen with plenty of great deals and discounts everywhere
2. Brainstorm with your team
Get together with your team to plan what you’re supposed to do during the holidays. Revisit the past year’s trends and what seems to be working for your business. See how you can make improvements to your past year’s performance and strategies.
Gather the people whose input you value — your business partner, valued employees, best friend, and spouse. Go over the different important aspects of your business and ask yourself questions like:
- How well did your business do last year?
- What were your bestsellers?
- Can you make the same offers this year?
- What were the challenges you faced?
- How can you make things better?
Answer these questions as honestly as you can and based on the answers you gather, work on the best possible strategies.
3. Get things done immediately
Aside from working on your plans for the season, there are things that should take top priority. You should get to these things immediately so that you can avoid the inconveniences the holiday rush brings and not get stressed out.
- Order your supplies early. It is good to have most of the items you regularly use — and will likely use more — on hand during this season. Product packaging materials, papers, ink, labels, business cards, and other office supplies.
- Work on upgrades and maintenance ASAP. Before things get crazy, make sure you already get the necessary system and utility upgrades and maintenance work done. You don’t want anything breaking down during the busiest season of the year.
- Tidy up. Now would be a good time to get some cleaning done around the shop and office to make your customers and clients feel more comfortable and welcome when they drop in.
4. Revisit your customer service policies
We all know how toxic this season is which also inevitably leads to certain mistakes. These blunders, in turn, lead to a lot of customers’ confusion and frustration. For this reason, you need to up your level of customer service to accommodate their concerns.
Some of the areas that you need to revisit and reevaluate are the following:
- Operating hours
- Shipping and delivery
- Returns and exchanges
- Phone and email services
5. Consider hiring extra hands
While the season brings about more business in the form of a spike in sales and closed deals, things also get pretty intense during this time. Consider getting extra help from seasonal employees to lighten your workload and increase productivity.
6. Work on your budget
To ensure that your business functions well during the holidays require additional capital. This will call for some adjustments to your finances. You have seasonal advertising and marketing opportunities, hiring extra personnel, and inventory purchases to think of among others. You need to tweak your company budget to accommodate all of these things for a better bottom line at the end of the year.
7. Prepare yourself
Last but definitely not least, you need to prepare yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally to survive this highly-stressful season.
- Be well-rested. Get enough sleep at night and make sure you don’t skip breaks at work.
- Try to avoid holiday treats. A few treats here and there are okay but just don’t indulge as it will have adverse effects on your health.
- De-stress regularly. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself. You need to be at the top of your game to function well at work.
- See a doctor. If you’re not feeling well and think you’re.coming down with something, don’t shrug it off. Be responsible and go see a doctor so your condition doesn’t get worse. It will also help you know if you need to stay home if you have something contagious that could infect your colleagues.
Overall, the holiday rush is only stressful if you’re not prepared for it. So save yourself and your team the misery and start preparing for it now.