The holidays will be here before you know it and we want to help you get your business ready so you can maximize growth in the end of 2014. We’ve gathered tons of tools and useful tips that will help you stock up on inventory, save money, market your holiday sales and much, much more. As our holiday gift to you, we’re offering free webinars, a downloadable planning calendar, and a complete Holiday Planning Guide.
Planning and preparing yourself for the holidays is critical to the survival of your business. The holiday season is typically when business owners achieve their highest sales. In fact, the fourth quarter for most retailers typically accounts for 75% of year-round sales. Below are a few tips from our planning guide on how to master your holiday planning this year – without breaking the bank. Visit and bookmark our full guide and keep checking back throughout the season. We’ll be putting up new content every week!
Creating a holiday budget should be at the very top of your holiday to-do list. Your budget will allocate how much money you have for inventory, employees and additional operating expenses like marketing, events, gifts, equipment, discounts, promotions, returns, etc. Visit our full planning guide for more details on budgeting for holiday events, inventory, marketing and more.
Making sure you have the necessary inventory is one of the most important things you can do to prepare yourself for a successful holiday season. Every year consumers rush from store to store and website to website looking for the perfect gift in the right size and color. If your store runs out of inventory, your revenue will suffer. Be proactive by reaching out to your vendors now so you can ensure that you have a fully stocked inventory when Black Friday rolls around. You might want to look into purchasing an inventory management app so you can easily track what items you have in stock and what items you need to reorder. Visit our planning guide for more tips.
When it comes to holiday marketing, creating and utilizing a strategy can help you stay organized and increase conversion rates. We’re going to gather TONS of great holiday marketing tips over the next three months, so stayed tuned in.
You can get creative and try to stand out from your competitors by adding personalized touches (like handwritten notes) to loyal customers. You can also have random pop-up sales that are likely to draw in new clients. Whatever you do, make sure that you spend your marketing budget wisely. Don’t go overboard on social media ads because there are a lot of other, inexpensive ways to advertise your business. Use your Google Analytics account to discover where most of your online traffic is coming from and then focus your marketing efforts on those platforms and channels.
One of the best direct pathways to your customers is through your social media platforms. The holidays present the perfect opportunity for you to leverage your social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Google+ to brand your business and connect with your customers. You should view your followers as leads. Since they’ve opted in to see the information you share on your social profiles, you can assume they already like your business. Use social media to announce flash sales, contests and giveaways that will get your customers excited about your inventory.
Employees and Staff
During the holiday season you are probably going to need some extra help around your store or office to make sure everything continues to run smoothly. Usually, 20 to 40 percent of sales in retail stores takes place within the last two months of the year, so it might be the right time to look into hiring a bookkeeper, a customer service representative, a social media manager, an inventory manager or an IT specialist to take the extra pressure off of you!
The clock is ticking! Start preparing your small business now for the upcoming holiday season. And don’t forget to check out the Kabbage Holiday Planning Guide for great tips on when to prepare your budget, buy inventory and swag, start sales and promotions, hire extra staff, optimize your website and of course treat yourself to a nice, relaxing day off!