There aren’t many industries with an evenly distributed amount of work throughout the year. This means you have a rush season and the work is slower during other parts of the year. Now, during the holidays, a lot of people have days off and/or receive their holiday bonuses, which makes them extra solvent. Moreover, the holidays are also a gifting season, which tends to make people more generous. From the perspective of your business, that means that they’re susceptible to spending more. So, here’s how you can capitalize on that and prepare your business for a holiday rush.
1. Get your supplies in time
If you’re in an industry that has a holiday rush, (like retail during the Black Friday or a season-dependent industry), chances are that you won’t be the only one facing this problem. This means that trying to stock up on supplies a week or two before the season starts is always a bad idea. First, it means that you might have to pay a somewhat inflated price (due to the fact that your suppliers might look to abuse the concept of supply and demand). Other than this, it’s also quite likely that there’ll be a shortage; one that you just can’t afford at the moment. So, in order to avoid this problem, you need to get your supplies in time.
2. Prepare for longer hours
Once this rush hour starts, it goes without saying that you’ll be short-handed or under-staffed, both of which mean that you have a workload increase problem to solve. First, you could try and persuade your team to stay longer. However, you need to understand that, overtime during holidays pays extra. Second, you might want to consider bringing in some temporary workforce on board. This is particularly effective because permanently hiring people might unnecessarily increase your staff and make your overhead larger in the long run.
3. Optimize your infrastructure
Automating your business processes is yet another crucial step in your efforts to streamline all the processes required for your business to operate at peak productivity. Now, using a tested third-party digital tool is often a great solution, especially if the tool in question is optimized for your industry. If you’re an in the manufacturing business, establishing a collaboration with manufacturing software specialists is a no-brainer as you’ll get the software that meets all the needs of your business. This saves time, effort and resources, as well as optimizes the end result of your efforts.
4. Tend to your cash flow
The busier you are, the more likely it is that you’ll need a tad heftier cash reserve. Why? Well, because unforeseen things can happen and your profit during the holiday rush might not be able to cover your operational costs. Just because there’s a holiday discount in place, this doesn’t mean that people will feel compelled to buy things with cash (or other forms of immediate payments). Sure, account receivables and invoices are both profitable, but they aren’t resources that you can use in order to pay your staff, your suppliers or even the lease on your headquarters. So, focus on your cash flow as much as you can.
5. Start preparing early on
While there’s a lot you can do in a matter of days and weeks, you need to understand that the holiday rush is the peak of the season. As such, it would be ideal if you could start preparing for it in time. In fact, some of the most successful businesses out there start preparing for the next season’s holiday rush as soon as the previous one ends. This way, you get an edge, as well as the privilege of doing these things at your own pace.
6. Capture the spirit of the holidays
There’s a reason why holidays are the part of the year in which the majority of industries boom and prosper. One part of this reason is definitely the nostalgia. So, in order to capitalize on this simple concept, what you have to do is start following in suit and try to decorate both your brick and mortar store and your website in the spirit of the holidays. This takes only a bit of work, but it can mean a world to your clients.
7. Increase your marketing efforts
Finally, you need to ensure that your message reaches your target audience, which is why you need to do all that’s in your power to increase the efficiency of your marketing. First of all, the holiday season is probably the best part of the year for you to host giveaways and organize contests. Second, you might want to consider investing a bit in sponsored content. Keep in mind that this is the part of the year where people are the most competitive, which is why you need to do all that you can in order to maintain an edge.
The very last thing you should focus on is the fact that this is just one of many holiday rushes that you’re going to encounter. So, as soon as this one wraps up, you need to start your preparations for the next season.
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