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How to Prepare Your Business for the End of the Year

| Flourish Monthly

Fair warning: You’re about to read a potentially jarring statement. We promise it’s good for you though, especially if you’re a business owner. We at Flourish like to work hard to bring you the best advice to help you run your business, even if it’s hard to hear. Are you ready? We sure hope so…

It’s time to start preparing for the holidays and the end of the year.

It’s true! If you’re reading this the day we posted it, it’s only the beginning of October. Sure, it seems like Halloween is still far away, but the holiday season is upon us. At least for business owners! It may not be time to decorate your home yet, but it certainly is the time to start preparing for what you’re going to implement in your business come November 1st.

Typically, businesses can fit into two groups: those that have a product or service they usually sell during the holidays, and those that don’t. Both types of businesses need to prepare. Whether you have something that’s popular in November and December or not, people’s behaviors change during the holiday season. Many people’s schedules get busier so they don’t end up going to as many appointments. Generally, people spend more money than usual (and much of their shopping will be online). No matter what or how you celebrate, the holiday season is almost always more stressful for everyone, so let’s talk about how you can plan ahead to relieve that stress!

As a business who has products or services to sell:

  1. Take stock of your inventory. Do you need more? Review your records from last year’s busy season and prepare accordingly.
  2. Take stock of your hours. Do you need to expand your availability?
  3. Make sure every step of the buying process is running smoothly from start to finish. This means ensuring you have enough product to make the amount of inventory you need, making sure your website is running the way you want, and even updating your store hours everywhere they’re posted (Google, social media, your storefront’s window, etc).
  4. Strategize what you'll do if something goes wrong. If your website goes down, what will you do? If you’re short-staffed, who are you going to call? Having a plan for when these things happen - because things will go wrong - will ensure you’ll be less stressed as you’re surrounded by demanding customers.
  5. If you need seasonal employees, make sure they’re hired and trained before the busy season begins.
  6. Lastly, our favorite, review your advertising and marketing campaigns. Are you going to put out a holiday special? Take a look at what things worked best last year and make a plan for this year (Pssst… we can help with this!). Bonus points if you create a plan for next year!

As a business who has downtime during the holidays:

  1. Review your 2022 sales. Were any products or services particularly popular? Maybe there’s a service that needs to be revamped or done away with. How did the needs of clients change, and how can you meet them better?
  2. Review any challenges you faced this year. Do you need to change your plans to recover from those issues? What are some potential obstacles you may face in 2023? Create a plan to make any necessary changes.
  3. Every business has a to-do list that grows throughout the year. Maybe there’s a piece of equipment you’d like to replace, a product you’d like to start developing, or even something as simple as an office deep-clean. The holidays can provide enough downtime to finally cross these things off of that list!
  4. Lastly, something that applies to all businesses, review your marketing. What worked well for you this past year? Is there a plan you thought about trying but didn’t? Let’s chat and see what holes may be in your marketing plan and create a strategy for how to fill those gaps.

Some other fun holiday ideas include:

  • Send out holiday cards. This lets customers know you remember them and would love to do business with them.
  • Participate in Giving Tuesday. The Tuesday after Thanksgiving is a day dedicated to giving to nonprofits and charitable organizations. This is a great way to show community support and engagement, which makes clients more likely to want to do business with you.
  • Decorate your office or store! This is just a fun way to spread holiday cheer and can make everyone happier.
  • Show your employees some love. This can mean gifts, bonuses, or even time off.

For a complete guide, checklist, and planner for the holidays, check out our Facebook group: Flourish on Social! We’ll be releasing a free guide there in the next few days.

It may seem like the end of the year is far away, but it really is fast approaching! Lots of people don’t begin their year reflections until January, but beginning before the new year is a great way to make sure you can implement your plans as soon as possible. If you need help preparing your business for the holidays, reach out to us! We’d be happy to take a look at your overall plan and help you strategize for the holidays and the upcoming year. We promise to make it full of cheer!

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