“Just hear those sleigh bells jingling, ring ting tingling too. Come on, it’s lovely weather for a sleigh ride together with you.”
Christmas songs on the radio are usually the first sign for me that the holidays are fast-approaching. It starts with one or two songs and then, before I know it, every station is belting out “Run Run Rudolph.”
For small business owners, planning for the holidays comes much earlier. By the time you’re reading this blog post, I hope that you have already put together your strategy on how to maximize the upcoming opportunities. The holidays are all about executing your plan. They are not a time for trial and error. In some cases, the last two months of the year may represent over 50% of a company’s annual revenue.
If you have big expectations for this holiday season, then you need to make sure your strategy and plans are in place and you are ready to go when the whistle blows…or the songs start playing on the radio.
Here are three ways to help your business make more happen this holiday season:
Create Goals – What are your specific goals for the holiday season? Do you want to hit a certain revenue number? Businesses with specific goals will almost always outperform similar companies without goals or plans. Everything you do in November and December, from hiring seasonal employees to tweeting about special sales, should help you achieve your strategic goals.
Have a Plan – How will you achieve your specific, strategic and measurable goals? Will you offer discounts? Will you have extended business hours for shoppers? Are you thinking about using social media to generate buzz for your business? Do you have the supplies you need for the holiday season? There are few things worse than having to go back to the same vendor again and again because you underestimated the amount of supplies needed for the holidays. You also run the risk of being out of the one item that you need more than all the other items combined.
Execute! – There will come a time when the strategy and planning periods are over (and that time is probably very soon). You then need to execute. You also need to regularly review your plans and strategic goals. Invariably, you will have to make adjustments along the way. You want to see what’s working and possibly double down on your efforts in that particular area.
The holidays, for many small business owners, represent a culmination of all the hard work you put into your business during the year. It’s like the farmer harvesting their crop. Finish the year on the strong note, toast your success on December 31st, take off on New Year’s Day and then get ready to do it all over again. Who doesn’t love being a business owner?