Small Business – It’s almost that time of year again! The holiday season is progressing, and with it comes the need to think about how to prepare your business for sale to enjoy a significant resurgence.
Small businesses earn most of their money between Halloween and New Years. With vacations like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas scattered between these two holiday season bookends, you should be preparing for the upcoming holiday season now.
On average, consumers spend about $ 1,000 during the holiday season. This figure has risen consistently over the past ten years.
Even during the Great Recession of 2008, the amount people spent on vacation declined only slightly. While there will likely be a similar decline this year due to the pandemic, it will still be a large portion of your company’s annual sales.
Between 20% -40% of annual sales for small and medium retail businesses occurs during the last 3-4 months.
The result of COVID-19
With COVID-19 most likely affecting the upcoming holiday season, many SMBs turn to sell more online than ever before. The move to online shopping happened in March and has been increasing every month since.
Studies indicate that it takes anywhere from two weeks to a few months for consumer behavior to change. With all the buzz about the “new normal,” you can expect this significant shift to online shopping to become permanent.
How are you preparing your business for sales that will take place during the holiday season? We have some helpful and effective tips that will help you position your small business in the best possible way so that you can take advantage of all the vacation expenses you can make.
1. Determine and Set Seasonal Goals
There are many vacations to choose from. Instead of expanding too much, select which vacation sales your business will invest in. If you think you’ll get the most out of the Black Friday sale, focus on those Christmas sales. When it’s Christmas, draw your attention to it.
Spreading yourself out too thinly, you will likely find that staying productive over the holidays become more challenging. However, this is the time that takes the most time and attention throughout the year! The holidays are your cash cow, so make sure you are pulling all the cylinders out and running at your highest level of performance and productivity.
Holiday events this coming year
If your business is primarily or entirely online, it makes more sense for you to work on Black Friday or Freaky Monday to grab your customers and audience’s attention.
If you are a brick and mortar store with local customers, then Thanksgiving is a great holiday to devote your energy to. It will show your local community how grateful you are by offering them generous discounts.
What to Avoid:
Don’t try to keep all the holidays. Select a few that is beneficial and make the most sense to focus on your business and plan them with your full attention.
2. Refuel for increased sales to come
If you think you know what to expect from your sales each month, think again. There will be sky-high demand for your products and services during the holiday season compared to the rest of the year. Hence, you need to make sure you have all the resources and inventory you need to meet the demand. Make sure there will be high availability for your customers.
You also need to spread information consistently across all of your communication channels, such as email and social media, to make sure your messages are all the same. By sticking to the same coherent message, potential confusion on the road is avoided once things pick up for the holidays.
What to Avoid:
Do not offer products or services for which you do not have enough inventory. If you have to cancel an order because it runs out prematurely, it’s unlikely you’ll ever see that customer again. It gives off a sense of unprofessional behavior that is not being rewarded.
3. Use Social Media to Promote Your Brand
Create social media campaigns and come up with different ways to creatively express your brand. You can find many great ideas online, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel.
It would be a good idea to decide which holiday events are the ones for which you will be offering discounts, coupons, gift certificates, and freebies. Make sure every social media campaign you create is unique and different from the others. Unleash your creativity! Have a little fun so that more people are involved.
You should also pay close attention to your newsletter as it will be an incredibly useful marketing tool. Email always has the highest engagement and reach rates, so if you’ve built a reliable newsletter, you can use it to promote your brand. Preparing your newsletter for the holidays almost guarantees that your sales will increase during the holidays.
What to Avoid:
Don’t use the same banners and images from last year for the upcoming Christmas sales. Also, avoid creating the same campaign for each event. If you do, customers will understand, which will lead to fewer sales for you.
4. Prioritize Your High-Value Customers
Every business has its valuable customers who either come back to buy something or buy oversized ticket items. Please keep track of your valuable customers and put the most attention on them. These could also be people who have never purchased anything from you before but are your lowest target audience who are the most likely to buy from you.
People who have already bought something from you have a high likelihood of coming back. That’s why you should give them a great deal, a coupon, or a discount on something. You also want to make sure their shopping experience is top-notch. They are very likely to pass this information on to their friends, family, and co-workers.
What to Avoid:
Don’t try to target everyone. Trying to use a broad net will lead to fewer sales than if you had to focus a lot on your target audience. If you try to reach out to everyone, all you will do is end up losing a whole lot of sales during these critical holidays.
5. Conduct A/B Testing and Set Up Alternatives
Editing and updating your web pages, product listings, and service packages take time. That’s why you want to avoid postponing updates to the last minute. When you rush to make last-minute changes, you may find yourself waiting too long and missing out on potential sales.
What to Avoid:
Don’t wait too long to update product pages, web pages, and service packs. The longer you wait, the more potential sales you lose because you are not prepared.
The end of the year holidays are approaching quickly. This means you need to prepare your business to skyrocket sales. If you’re not ready for the influx of customers, you risk losing sales that you might have made.
From Halloween through to New Years and Boxing Day, you can expect most of your sales to come through at the tail end of the year. This means that everything must be ready and done correctly.
Even as COVID-19 is leaving millions of people unemployed, there is a massive shift towards online shopping. This has led to a sudden surge in sales from small businesses to businesses selling online.
If you’re a small business and want to get a piece of that sales pie, you should follow the tips featured in this article When you do, you’ll have your best year yet. It’s not too late to get started with this, so start preparing for the upcoming Christmas sales today!