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Growth Strategies > Holidays

6 Strategic Ways to Prepare Your Small Business for the Festive Season

Winter is coming. Are you ready?
Caiaimage | Paul Bradbury | Getty Images
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The National Retail Federation (NRF) estimated that Christmas and New Year sales last year passed $650 billion. This year, the NRF estimates that number to be closer to $680 billion. 

However, you can only have access to those major potential profits if you take the right steps and if you are extremely strategic about what to offer. So, how are you preparing for the holiday season?

Here are six strategies you can get started with.

6 Strategic Ways to Prepare Your Small Business for the Festive Season

Understand the data

Some business owners tend to forget about what worked or what consumers liked, but you should have a clear set of data so you already know which products and ad campaigns performed best in the past holiday seasons. 

Having these four types of data will help you avoid mistakes you've already made and improve in the areas where your business is lacking. In other words, data keeps you one step ahead.

Related: 7 Key Selling Habits All Sales Professionals Must Develop

6 Strategic Ways to Prepare Your Small Business for the Festive Season

Set sales goals

Specifically, you must identify goals that can help you be highly effective during the festive rush hours. This is the time when businesses make their biggest sales. You do not want to enter it without having a clear idea of your sales goals.

6 Strategic Ways to Prepare Your Small Business for the Festive Season

Plan your promotion

Now that you have sales goals in mind, you need to have a blueprint to help you achieve those goals. How will you get word out? Will you have special deals during the festive season? When should you start sending ads out? Answering these questions will help you as you plan your promotions.

The festive season is very competitive. There will be many businesses, just like yours, fighting for a spot in the market. Having your plan early will give you a head start.

Related: The 15 Characteristics of People Who Succeed at Sales

6 Strategic Ways to Prepare Your Small Business for the Festive Season

Get your online store in order

Many consumers prefer to order online. It's fast and convenient, which is why ecommerce sites are so often used and visited during the festive season.

It's also why now is the perfect time to look closer at just how many traffic loads your server can carry. Websites crashing during rush hours is a nightmare. Preparation will help you avoid unnecessary headaches during that period.

6 Strategic Ways to Prepare Your Small Business for the Festive Season

Ramp up your social media presence

With so many people online on social media, you can't miss out on the opportunity to interact with your target audience, build brand awareness and earn people's trust factor.

Let's face it, not many people will buy from someone they don't know, so establish strong positive relationships with your audience.

Just as importantly, do what you can to limit negative reviews. News moves fast on social media, and 88 percent of shoppers rely on reviews to influence their purchase decisions. One bad review on social media could change everything for that business.

Related: The Holiday Marketing Guide for Small Businesses

6 Strategic Ways to Prepare Your Small Business for the Festive Season

Prepare your staff for chaos

Keeping your existing customers is very important. So, do your best to make sure every one of your clients get quality service. This sounds easy enough, but the festive season can be extremely hectic -- especially if you're selling products in high demand. It can get overwhelming handling the large crowd, so you need to make sure you have measures in place to maintain good rapport with your clients despite the rush.

Remember the chain reaction quality service creates: A happy customer equals positive reviews, word-of-mouth and referrals and more customers. Caution your staff to treat every client right.