We’re in November and we’re getting so much closer to Black Friday, the day that marks the official start of the holiday sales season. You’ve been gearing up for it and I know this period can be unbelievably overwhelming and mind numbingly tiring (I used to work in the salon industry, so I’ve been there!). Here are 5 tips to help you to prepare for the season so that you get the most out of it, without losing your mind in the process.
Schedule, Schedule, Schedule!
It’s best to plan and schedule all your content and events now so that you’re not scrambling to do it when you’re smack in the thick of things. Start advertising the events that you’ll be at and what products will be available. If you have any seasonal or limited edition items, it’s best to advertise those too along with any special discounts or bonuses!
It’s also great to have behind the scenes photos of your production for a particular event or in advance of the release of a new product. You want to generate anticipation, excitement and buzz which is a good way to drive sales. Scheduling should also include all product and event photography, visuals and copy that are needed for your social media and website (check out this awesome post from Later about scheduling a week’s worth of Instagram posts. Of course if you need any help you can always hit me up as well :)). Now’s also a great time to schedule any social media ad campaigns that you want to run during this period.
2. Automate key tasks
You don’t necessarily have to set up a fancy, fully integrated CRM (customer relationship management) system (even though that would be ideal!) but a simple online form where you capture all the information can work. For example an order form could be a great tool to save time on manually processing orders. Having a feedback form would also be helpful in understanding the customer experience and implementing improvements in a timely manner. Using chatbots is also another way you can lessen your workload as you can provide answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) and in some cases they can even do basic order processing for you.
3. Encourage pre-orders
Taking pre-orders is another method you can use to gauge the demand for your product and plan your production and range accordingly. Please note, you should take payment in part or in full and have some sort of cancellation policy in place. We all know that the holiday season is notorious for last minute orders and cancellations. Ensure that your business is protected against these occurrences.
4. Set a cut-off date
We all know about last minute shoppers. There are businesses that cater for these people, but if yours is not one of those, then please don’t encourage it. Just as everybody isn’t your ideal customer, every sale isn’t worth it. It’s important to set firm cut off dates, especially if you know you aren’t mentally or physically capable of fulfilling a last minute order. What is the true cost of of fulfilling a last minute order? You must draw the line somewhere.
5. Get help
You are not super(wo)man. You are not a machine. You will get exhausted. You need rest, food and water (at the very least!). So it’s in your best interest to hire seasonal workers to help take some of the load off your shoulders. You can get help for managing your social media account, with the actual production or with sales and customer service. It’s up to you to decide what’s most critical for you and your business.
I do hope these tips will be useful in helping you navigate the busy season successfully. You can indeed hit those sales targets without running yourself into the ground. All it takes is some planning and organisation.
Until next time,