As the weather is already starting to get a little cooler this September in New England, I can’t help but think ahead to the chilly fall days and nights that are fast approaching. Those forthcoming autumn days should read like a warning sign to small business owners, because with the fall comes the winter close behind and with winter comes the holiday shopping season. Christmas is only a startling 104 days away.
So what can you do today to start planning ahead for this holiday season? Here are couple things you should start thinking about now, before the thermometer drops any lower.
- What will be the biggest sellers? Start planning on placing big bulk orders now for the items you know you’ll sell out of come December. A lot of vendors will be backlogged as we get closer to the holidays, and you can’t afford to risk having your top selling items not arrive until January.
- How can you attract attention? Every small business struggles to compete with the big box stores and their deep discounts during the holiday rush. You may not need to cut your prices in half to compete, but you’ll want to start thinking ahead now for creative ways to get customers into your doors. Try to think of ways to make the much dreaded shopping experience less stressful and fun for your shoppers – if you’re feeling punchy, maybe even have one of your employees dress up like Santa Claus.
- What can we sell that’s seasonal? It’s tough to think about the colder months when many of our customers are still coming in wearing sundresses and flip flops, but now is the best time to start planning ahead to your colder month seasonal items. Start phasing out your flip flop inventory for boots and closed toed shoes, or if you’re planning on offering any inventory that’s holiday related, now is a great time to place your order to have it waiting in the wings.
Have you started to plan ahead to the holiday season?