It’s hard to believe but pumpkin spice and candy canes galore are about to descend upon us as we welcome the 2017 holiday season. Is your retail business prepared? If not, now’s the time to get moving on your plans for how you’ll meet and beat the high expectations from the wave of buyers excited to spend money with you. Here are a few tips to get you started.
Plan Your Seasonal Systems
Let’s face it. Things work a little differently during the holiday season. With the amount of hustle and bustle going on all around, you’re not able to let certain tasks get pushed to the side. The best way to stay on top of all that needs to happen in order for you to run an efficient store is to have systems in place.
Start planning out your systems now. Clarify them on paper using a flowchart. Then, assign each task to the appropriate person.
Doing this will help with two things. First, it’ll ensure you hire the right people to fill the roles you need filled for the holiday rush. Second, it’ll ensure that when you’re not around, everything continues to stay on track.
Don’t be afraid to get nitty gritty either. Think about every process in your business from large to small. A few must-have systems are:
– Scheduling to make sure every shift is covered;
– Tracking inventory to make sure nothing goes missing;
– Managing cash flow to make sure all the returns, shift changes, etc. go smoothly;
– Advertising your business to make sure you’re getting the influx of customers you expect.
Prepare Your Marketing Materials
Chances are the marketing materials you plan to push out to your customers are already in place, but how about the marketing materials that’ll advertise you have seasonal job openings? Have you prepared announcements and flyers yet? If not, now’s a good time to start.
Your holiday season depends on the help you have. By putting together detailed announcements and listings now, you’ll attract the cream of the crop to your business.
And, with your systems in place, you’ll know exactly what you need out of each person who receives a paycheck from you this holiday season. It could turn out that you need more help stocking inventory late at night than you do at the cash register. Or vice versa. No matter the case, plan ahead and be specific in how you advertise your open positions, so you’re sure to find the best person to fill the role.
Start Interviewing Now
Don’t wait to start interviewing potential job candidates until you need a position filled. Start interviewing people now. Getting ahead of the game will give you the best employees to fill the seasonal roles. It will also give you a chance to train and vet employees before the real rush picks up around the Thanksgiving holiday.
Are You Prepared?
By starting your planning process now, you can be better prepared for a smooth holiday season. What are you doing to bring in the help you need for the surge of traffic coming in to your retail store?
Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007 and again in 2010, 2013 and 2014.