Prepping for high-traffic retail periods can be stressful. Here’s a quick summary of what you should think about when preparing your retail business for the holidays.
Running a business will always come with highs and lows. While there are a few times of the year when you might not get much attention at all, there will be others where you need to be on your top form. Holidays are one of the best times for your business to turn a profit, but they can also lead to some poor mismanagement if you are not careful. Here are some of our best tips for managing your retail business during busy holidays.
Retail during the holidays can see many more people coming into your store to buy your products. This, in turn, can lead to more work for you and your staff. Whether you are dealing with long queues of impatient customers at the till or you need to restock shelves as quickly as they are being emptied, you can quickly end up feeling overwhelmed. Therefore, you might decide to hire a few extra hands to help you out.
Hiring temporary staff is a great way to get you the boost you need during high periods. It does not matter what season you need the extra help in; there is usually always someone looking for a job. What you do need to do is ensure that you have the cash flow to match your temporary hire. You always need to make sure that you are going to be able to pay any temporary staff no matter how busy you might become. Trying to avoid cash flow crisis is going to be key in this busy period.
Many businesses like to bring out a limited-edition festive product for the holidays. While it can be great to jump on the bandwagon of the bigger businesses, you need to make sure that you are going to be able to afford the products and ensure that they will sell.
Making a new product always takes time and energy on your part. You might start planning a limited-edition product six months or even a year in advance. Pouring manpower and time into this design is going to eat up resources pretty quickly. You will also need to conduct adequate market research to determine exactly what the public’s reaction to the product might be. Such a product should be very different from anything you already sell but it should also fit in cohesively with the rest of your stock.
One of the biggest challenges will be deciding how much stock to make. Order too few units and they might sell out too quickly. If you then do a restock, you might face questions as to whether or not this item is really limited-edition. Order too many and you might be left with unsold stock come the end of the holiday period.
Incorrectly balancing a limited-edition item can cause some serious cash flow errors if not handled correctly. When producing such an item, you need to be prepared that it might be a flop that won’t turn a profit. Don’t add such a collection to your holiday items if you know that you cannot afford for it to fail.
Keep on Top of the Store
Cash flow in the holidays can be affected by many factors. You can have the nicest staff and the best stock ever but you could still miss out on the holiday crowds. One of the easiest ways to do so is by having a messy store. A store which is not inviting for customers will be a sure way to have them walk straight past without coming in.
From keeping the shop floor neat and tidy to coming up with a cool new marketing campaign for the store windows, there are many things you can try to make your store seem as inviting as possible. Take some of the ideas of your staff on board as they could have some great ideas to get people through the doors.
Lots of customers will mean lots of mess. You need to make sure that you have staff assigned to clean up the store as much as they can around the staff. Cashflow issues can be flagged up by any number of factors. The more you can do to eliminate them, the better off you will be overall.
Set Reasonable Goals
When trying to prepare for a busy period in the store, you should always think about setting some reasonable goals to help your staff know where they need to aim for. From an average transactional value to an average number of items per sale, there are many things you can try to drive your sales. The higher you can push your sales, the higher your profit will be and you will have more chance of avoiding a cash flow crisis.
However, you also need to make sure that these goals are achievable by your staff. Every person will have a different skillset and some might struggle to reach the goals you have set while others will surpass them. By taking into account what each member of staff is capable of, you will be able to coax some brilliant performances out of them. Anyone who struggles with selling will receive the encouragement they need to improve. Meanwhile, your top sellers will get the motivation they need to excel their current performances. Flexible targets for each staff member might take more time but they could result in some better performances overall.
Preparation is Key
Running a business throughout a holiday period is always going to be stressful. You need to make sure that your business is fully prepared for anything it could face. Whether you are planning a new product launch or trying to find the right staff to help you, there are many things you can do. However, you always need to make sure that you keep your finances at the forefront of any planning. While the holidays represent a brilliant opportunity to turn a profit, you can just as easily land yourself in some financial issues if you are not careful. Plan carefully and prepare for your next major holiday season now.