3 Reasons To Prepare for the Holidays Today

The holidays are approaching… whether you’re ready or not. By now, hopefully you have identified and purchased the products you plan to sell, but beyond great inventory what else have you done to get ready?

Below are three things you can do today to help jump-start your holiday season into being one of the best yet.

1. Schedule at least three special events during your holiday season. For some retailers, this may seem overwhelming… after all, the holidays are busy enough, so why add more to your already busy schedule? Here’s why, though – customers love the out of the ordinary and special little somethings that stores and other businesses offer during the holidays. They enjoy feeling as if the entire season is a celebration, and certainly enjoy the extra somethings special events offer while shopping. Whether it’s “Monday Mimosas and Holiday Shopping” or “Santa Saturdays” every Saturday following Thanksgiving or an invite only VIP evening celebration of festivity, fun and shopping, customers love to be a part of stores that celebrate the holiday season. This said, they are busy like you. Identify the dates you plan to go above the ordinary and begin to share these dates and special events with your retail audience. You can do his via social media, email marketing and in-store communication… the catch is you have to do it, though. There’s no time to delay!

2. Identify your holiday decorating strategy. Many retailers love the idea of decorating their stores for the holidays – maybe even more so than their own homes. But not all merchants feel this way. The idea of both merchandising and decorating can be overwhelming, but the holidays demand that seasonal feeling of warmth, festivity and holiday cheer. What are your plans to make sure your store screams “we’re holiday ready” through decorations and display? Plan ahead so that you can also order any trees, garland and other decorative supplies you may need long before the rush of customers are doing the same.

3. Plan Your Participation in Small Business Saturday. Big box stores may have Black Friday to prepare for (and trust me, they are already preparing) but you have Small Business Saturday, which is the celebratory kick off to the holiday season for small businesses across the country. Founded five years ago by American Express, Small Business Saturday takes place on the Saturday following Thanksgiving and is recognized as a day to both celebrate independent businesses and welcome shoppers into stores across the country to “shop small”. Additionally, Small Business Saturday is powered by American Express and receives national media attention – both of which help YOU gain more visibility for your store as a participating business of Small Business Saturday. It costs you nothing to take part in this nationally recognized and promoted day… but offers you a tremendous power of support behind your individual store efforts. To take it even a step further, stores are encouraged to invite their entire communities to get engaged and involved on Small Business Saturday by becoming a Neighborhood Champion (learn more here). With free marketing, national publicity and turn-key solutions to make this Saturday one of your best ever, it’s a no-brainer to make this part of your 2014 holiday seasons plans.

With 120 days until Christmas (based on this post date – but get your updated count here), there’s no time to waste. You have events, merchandising, decorations, inventory, seasonal hours, extra hires, Small Business Saturday and more to prepare for. So what are you waiting for? Ready… set… go!


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