It’s that time of year again where people are getting ready for the holidays. As a business this time of year can be a wonderful time of year but it can also be a very stressful time too. Not only do you have your year end objectives to do, (get ready for the end of the year accounting, get ready for taxes, etc) but also you have to keep your business running.For many businesses it can be fairly easy to fall behind during the holidays, but with a little bit of preparation it is easy to keep things running smoothly through the holidays.
- Prepare in advance. – Having a plan for the holiday seasons is one of the biggest keys to keep up on things during the holiday season. If you have even a simple plan to keep up things it will help make everything run smoothly. If you are anything like me it will make things much easier if you have your plans written down somewhere so that not only you can see it and be reminded about what needs to be done but also your employees can see what needs to be done too.
- Don’t forget your marketing. – It can be really easy to forget to keep up on marketing when the holidays are around. A lot of companies get so busy during the holidays they either don’t find time to market or they just forget to market them selves. If you keep your marketing in mind all year round you can easily stay on top of things. Know what your marketing plan is and keep up on it. Remember “It is always the season to market your self!”
- Don’t just think about December – December is a BIG time for most businesses but there are many other holidays to keep in mind. On top of that it is hard to play catch up if you wait till December (or any other holiday month for that matter) to think about December. Remember there are other important holidays out there and remember to keep the holidays in mind all year round.
- Don’t forget people are busy – It is very easy to get caught up in the holidays. There is a lot of stuff to think about not only for businesses but also for everyone. Remember your customers do get busy so it is probably a good idea to keep your marketing brief and to the point. If you are using email marketing keep your emails short and make sure there is a point to your emails. If you are sending out a mailer or other collateral, make sure it is to the point. Offer a “Happy Holidays” and your marketing objective (ie a coupon or some way to draw people to your business) and leave it at that.
- Don’t be a Grinch, but don’t be insensitive. – By this I mean don’t be that person who just says “bah humbug” and ignores all holidays, but don’t forget your customer base can be fairly diverse. Remember that there are other holidays other than just Christmas and sometimes being a little politically correct can really make a big difference. If you have a fairly diverse customer base saying “Happy Holidays” rather than “Mary Christmas” or “Happy Chanukah” or anything else for that matter might be better in the long run.
- Remember what the holidays are for. – What is the point of being in a business if you can’t have a little fun here and there. Remember that the holidays are a time for celebrating and you should have a little fun here and there. Make sure you have a little fun from time to time so you will want to stay in business and keep things going smoothly.
Bonus tip: Don’t forget about the people who helped you get where you are. It is very easy to send your customers a quick “thank you” for doing business with us, but your customers are not the only thing that helped get you where you are. Sometimes you really need to think about your employees and your vendors and find a way to thank them for helping out too. If you are feeling generous you can easily send out some quick gifts or you can simply send out a quick thank you card or simply call them and tell them thank you for being there, but make sure they know how you feel.
I know this is a relatively short list but I hope this helps everyone this holiday season. What do you do to prepare for the holidays?