• October 19, 2017
1 minute Read
One of the busiest times of the year for small businesses is right around the corner. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and other holidays like Halloween and Christmas each represent an incredible opportunity for businesses to maximize their sales and end the year on a high note. However, this busy season can also present many challenges. Here are a few steps businesses can take now to help guarantee that they are ready for the final few months of the year.
Review Your Staffing
Staffing during the holidays can present a number of challenges for small businesses. For one thing, employees often request vacation around this time. This, combined with an influx of new customers, can hit your business especially hard if you have a relatively small team. In order to have a clear understanding of your staffing needs during the final months of the year, you should undertake the following four tasks.
1.) Ask all full-time staff to submit any vacation requests well in advance of the holiday season.
2.) Ask your part-time staff whether they are willing to work additional hours to deal with the increase in customers and/or cover the vacation hours of full-time employees.
3.) Taking the answers to the first two questions into account, determine whether you need to hire additional staff during the busy season.
4.) Create a staffing plan specifically for October through December.
Communicate with Customers
It is crucial for your business to proactively communicate with current and potential customers. You should be sure to have a plan in place to reach customers in the run-up to and during the holiday season. Outreach to customers can include promotions, an e-newsletter, and ad buys on social media channels such as Facebook. You can learn more about developing your own communications plan by checking out our recent blog “Customer Outreach Tips for the Holidays.”
Shore Up Your Record Keeping
Although recordkeeping can be dull and burdensome, ensuring that you have an accurate and robust system is critical during the holiday season. The last thing you want as an owner is to be worried about whether you are correctly tracking expenses while droves of customers are waiting to be helped. Be sure to assess whether your current system will be able to handle an influx of new business and whether any of your employees can assist you with record keeping responsibilities. Training staff now will help free up your time to focus on bringing in new customers and serving existing ones when the holiday rush hits.
To help tackle the challenges businesses face during the last few months of the year, owners may want to consider a short-term infusion of working capital. These funds will help ensure that you have the resources necessary during this busy season. Such funds can be especially helpful in bringing on new staff to deal with the holiday rush. If you are an existing CAN Capital customer, reach out to your renewals rep to see if you qualify for additional capital.