Small Business Saturday Blog

How to make your Christmas the most successful yet!

Saturday, November 24, 2018 at 17:00

Small Business Saturday supporter Square gives us their top tips for having the most successful Christmas ever....
We’rehurtling towards Christmas fast, just like every year. From now until December24, you can expect to serve a steady flow of customers hunting for gifts,stocking up on food & drink or simply looking for that festive feeling. Ifthere’s one way to stay organised and productive through the rush, it’s towrite a checklist.
Forecast your busiest times
Data isyour best friend when preparing for the Christmas shopping period. Ideally,every small business’s point-of-sale software shouldprovide access to an online dashboard that’skitted out with analytics tools. There aretwo types of data you can put to use:
Historicaldata that reveals past trends and periods where you couldhave made better decisions.
Real-timedata that lets you view that same performance as it’shappening, allowing you to make adjustments as soon as they’re needed.
Thechallenge as a business owner is learning how to blend the two. Whilsthistorical data allows you to prepare in advance, you need to be agile. Andwhilst it’s great to act on-the-fly, the right preparations are needed tosupport reactive management.
(If you don’t already have point-of-sale software)
Download point-of-sale software to tracksales, inventory and employees
Set up employee management so that staffcan take payments
Add your inventory
(If you already have point-of-sale software)
Identify Q4 2017’s busiest periodsand days (for your online and offline stores)
Note periods of low inventory
Note items that went out of stock
Order stock (comparing past trendswith business growth)
Review staff performance during pastbusy periods
Create a staff rota and share inadvance
Include staff to help with onlinecustomer support if you have a website or use social media
Finalise time-off requests
Analyse any customer feedback youreceived via digital receipts
Implement suggestions that makesense for your business
Review your current busiest periodsin real-time
Adjust your opening hoursaccordingly
Create an efficient ordering systemso you can respond to real-time low inventory alerts
Increase the ways you can takepayments
A queueout the door is a great thing for business, but impatient customers aren’t. Youcan prepare yourself for bigger crowds of shoppers by both speeding up thecheckout process and offering customers more ways to pay.
Order more handheld readers so you can servemore than one customer on the shop floor
Get a stand for your iPad to create asecure point-of-sale
Get set up with virtual terminal software sothat you can take payments remotely
Offer invoicing options for high-valueitems
Cleanse inventory
Now isthe time to get everything in place for your team to sell efficiently duringbusy periods. In your point-of-sale system, make sure all the inventory is goodto go.
Delete inventory items that you nolonger sell
Add new inventory (making sure thatitems are named correctly)
Make sure all pricing and offers areup to date
Include photos for all items
Update your website and social media
If youhave special Christmas opening hours or you’re running promotions, make sureyour website and social media reflect them. The real-time insights provided byyour point-of-sale system might result in last minute changes, so use thesechannels to let people know as soon as you do.
Update your store opening hours
Add festive imagery to your websiteand social media cover photos
Add some seasonal touches to yourcompany “About” section
Post regularly on social media withcompany updates or offers
Start using Facebook Messenger tocommunicate with customers
Theme your online advertising andsocial marketing campaigns
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