It might seem early to start thinking about the holidays, but small business owners know better than anyone how fast they can creep up!
Black Friday is less than a month away — if you start preparing now, you’ll set yourself up for a stress-free December.
Plan Deals & Extra Services Early
Before preparing for the holidays, you need to know what you’re preparing for.
Many small businesses offer special deals and extra services for the holiday season, and going above and beyond for your clients during this busy time shows them how much you care.
But for these perks to become a successful selling tool, you need to plan ahead. Start thinking about everything you want to offer now so you know what you’re getting yourself into!
If you decide to do a BOGO deal, pick up extra inventory ahead of time to avoid shipping delays. If you want to offer gift-wrapping, have all the wrapping paper, bags, and bows you’ll need!
Get Ahead of Your Messages with Gift Guides
Small business owners have more personal relationships with their clients, which means your clients probably come to you from time to time for purchasing advice. During the holidays, they might even come to you for gift suggestions!
Getting these personalized recommendations is part of the small business experience, so it’s important to keep giving them. But, that doesn’t mean you should spend hours a day researching the perfect gift for your client’s mother.
Think about the products or services you offer, then decide who in your target audience those would be best for.
For example, if you market primarily toward women, you could break it down into:
● Gifts for mom
● Gifts for stay-at-home moms
● Gifts for women on-the-go
● Gifts for the girl who has everything
Create a list of gifts that’d be perfect for each group, then post them to your Facebook page, blog, or attach them to your email newsletter!
Batch Content Ahead of Time
We all know how crazy the holidays can get. Between gift shopping, holiday parties, and trying to package all the orders from your business’s winter rush, it’s easy for other things to fall by the wayside — don’t let your social media be one of them!
A lot of people shop small for the holidays, and most of them turn to social media for inspiration. You might not want to spend all day posting to your Story, but you also don’t want to miss out on these valuable leads.
There’s an easy solution to this problem — create and schedule all your holiday content ahead of time.
Facebook lets you schedule photos, videos, and Reels up to 30 days in advance. You can upload media, write your caption, and choose the exact time and date you want each post to go up.
Once your posts are scheduled, you can prepare for the holidays knowing your pages are managing themselves!
Schedule Your “On the Clock” Hours
Everyone gets distracted with the holidays on their mind. While messaging clients, packaging orders, and general housekeeping is usually easy to deal with, everything is a little more overwhelming this time of year.
This is where keeping a schedule or to-do list can be a lifesaver.
At the start of each work day, make a list of everything you need to get done — prioritize the most important tasks. Work through each item on your list before moving onto the next to stay on track!
Block Out “Off the Clock” Hours
It’s tough for any workaholic to actually take time away from their business, but burning out during the holidays won’t help anyone.
Remember — you’re not just helping your clients prepare for the holidays, you have your own prep to worry about too!
While you’re planning your work week, don’t forget to block out time for yourself. You can spend this time shopping, wrapping gifts, decorating the house, or just recharging from the holiday rush.
How you take time off is up to you. You might want to block off a week to decorate the tree, go shopping, and wrap your presents in one go. Or, you might want to block off just a couple of hours each day to take care of everything overtime.
Decide how you’ll handle it ahead of time, stick to your schedule, and most importantly, let your clients know when you’ll be unavailable.
That might mean posting your “holiday hours” on social media, setting an automatic “out of office” email response, or putting your phone on Do Not Disturb to resist the temptation of answering client calls while picking out a Christmas tree.
Share Your Holiday Prep with Clients!
Small business is all about personal connections – the holidays are the perfect time to foster those connections!
As you decorate the tree, hang lights outside your house, or wrap presents in the living room, snap a couple of pictures for social media. Clients want to see the real you, and sharing your holiday prep is a great way to show it to them!
When in Doubt, Do it Early
As a small business owner, myself, I know there’s nothing more important than being prepared. As crazy as it seems to start thinking about all of this before Halloween, you’ll thank yourself when the holiday stress starts to set in.
If you think you can get something done early, get it done early. Start your holiday photoshoots, plan your holiday specials, and create your gift guides now. When the holiday orders start to pour in, you’ll have everything you need to meet your end-of-year goals!