We’re all familiar Black Friday, the first and perhaps the most infamous ‘buying holiday’. Nowadays though, you also have Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday to take into account. If you own a small business, preparing for these buying holidays can be a great way to improve your sales during the holiday season. But how can you compete with all of the big businesses vying for customer attention? In this article, we’re going to try to answer that question.
- Have enough working capital
To meet the increased holiday season demand and make the most of it, you have to fill up your inventory, and perhaps secure a commercial space in a busy part of down. But let’s say you had a weaker year from a financial point of view, what then? This is where you can talk to a merchant bank and ask for a small business loan, or try to secure a line of credit. If you find a merchant bank with reasonable rates and terms, you can get that much needed capital injection.
- Order your holiday inventory ahead of time
By stocking up the inventory ahead of time, you give yourself much needed time to plan everything out. For example, you might be able to talk to your vendors and get some discounts for buying early or in bulk. You can also develop marketing and pricing strategies, alongside special offers that will draw in more customers. Strategies such as selling a loss leader can draw in customers and help you have a greater turnaround.
- Staff up if needed
Since buying holidays, and the holiday season in general, are much more hectic times, having extra staff on hand can help handle the increased workload. If you’ve been through a holiday season before, check your records and figure out if extra staff is necessary. There are many options when it comes to hiring, from bringing on full time employees, to hiring part time, or commission-based sales people.
- Build your local brand
To fully take advantage of the holiday season, your brand has to be out there, and known to customers. Sure, you might not be able to draw in any extra customers during Black Friday, but Small Business Saturday is another story. Things like taking out ads, extending store hours, or contacting a local business association, can help boost your sales. This is also where promotional planning comes in. What will you offer on Small Business Saturday?
- Have credit card processing capability
During this season, many people buy on impulse and on credit. This is why it’s important to have credit card processing capabilities. Customers expect to be able to pay in a multitude of ways, and when the holiday season comes around, credit cards are one of the preferred methods of payment.
For more information on how to prepare for buying holidays, or to sign up for a merchant account, please call (888) 924-2743 or go to Charge.com.