Everyone could benefit from a little pre-holiday season planning and preparation, but maybe none more than small business owners and entrepreneurs. It’s smart to begin to plan for the holiday season well in advance. We’ll explain why and show you how below.
‘Tis the season to be busy
Whether you own an online business or retail location, business is going to pick up significantly as we move closer to the holidays. In the position of entrepreneur or business owner, there are really only two options for this time of year: Plan or hope for the best.
Running out of inventory, failing to attract holiday customers, lack of customer support – there’s a long list of things that commonly go wrong when business owners don’t adequately plan for the holiday season. We recommend that you plan for the holiday season by deciding how you’ll celebrate each holiday with ad campaigns, logo changes, etc., making a few lists, phone calls, and setting up processes to make running your company easier.
5 Smart Ways to Plan for the Holiday Season
1. Plan how you’ll ‘celebrate’ each upcoming holiday as a company.
Will you design a holiday-themed, branded image to share on social media and your blog? Have a party? Create a video? Run a promotion? Having these plans in place makes it easier to stick to it and help your business capitalize on the buzz of the holidays. Here are some ideas for celebrating any holiday as a company:
- Holiday parties and other seasonal events
- Send customer thank you notes, holiday cards, and other direct mailings
- Create holiday-themed videos
- Create custom holiday images to share on social media
- Make holiday additions to your logo temporarily
- Promotions, deals, and sales
- Partner with other small businesses/entrepreneurs for a special event or sale
- Volunteer at a charity
- Holiday emails/newsletters
2. Ensure you can scale your product or service to meet holiday demand.
Many business owners, especially small business owners, have experienced the horror that is realizing you can’t serve every paying customer that comes your way (at a time when you may need the money the most).
You can bypass that concern by beginning to plan for the holiday season well ahead of time, ensuring you’ll have plenty of inventory, a plan for increased demand, technical support, scale-able means to offer your services, etc.
3. Hire an answering service to help with incoming calls.
Small businesses have small staffs, sometimes relying on a core team of just one or two people to make the business run. During busier times, like the rush of the holiday season, it’s helpful to hire an answering service.
Working with virtual receptionists (a remote team of live call answering specialists) during the holidays can ensure you offer consistent, friendly, live greetings to callers at a time when you may not be able to get to every call.
Full disclosure – we are a virtual receptionist and virtual assistant provider.
4. Ask your virtual receptionist to use holiday greetings and messages.
If you’re working with virtual receptionists, plan for the holiday season by asking them to use holiday greetings and messages ahead of time. Work with your provider to set a date for the holiday greetings to be put into use by your virtual receptionists.
Knowing your receptionists will automatically begin issuing the holiday greetings you’ve customized before the holidays will give you peace of mind and allow you to concentrate on more pressing holiday matters.
5. Play some holiday-themed hold music.
Keeping callers on hold during the holiday season is hard to avoid. No one likes waiting, but you can plan for the holiday season by choosing holiday-themed hold music to play while you place callers on hold.
Studies have shown that callers feel they’ve spent less time on hold when music is playing as opposed to silence or listening to company promotions. Plus, if you choose happy, holiday tunes as hold music, your callers may enjoy the festive lift of hearing a song that represents holiday memories.