Strategies that may boost your holidays bottom line

Heading into the ever crucial holiday shopping season just may be more tricky than ever before. As the economy continues to morph and change, it becomes critical that your business generate every advantage it can. That means being as prepared as you can be to boost your bottom line this holiday season. In a recently issued research report, the US Better Business Bureau has listed several strategies designed to help you get the most from your holiday season efforts. The following is taken directly from that published report:

  • Create a plan of action early. The forecast for consumer behavior may not be crystal clear, but you can still make sure shelves are stocked and you are promoting products that fit with shoppers’ current wants and needs. Keep in mind your chain of supply could be affected by current events, and plan accordingly.
  • Fix any bugs in your online presence.  Make sure your website and online shop are up-to-date and running smoothly. Work out any bugs before holiday shopping really picks up. Consider investing in online advertising or social media marketing.
  • Prepare for a return to in-person shopping. While online shopping isn’t going away, experts expect more in-store shopping than in the past few years. With ongoing staffing shortages, expect to face challenges hiring and keeping seasonal staff. With many major retailers upping their holiday wages, make sure your business is paying competitively and consider offering flexible schedules and access to benefits.
  • Entice shoppers to buy – without resorting to discounts. High inflation has made shoppers price conscious. But before you resort to sales to get shoppers in the door, try other ways to entice them. These may include in-store events or gifts with purchase.
  • Save money and staff time by focusing on your top sellers. Small businesses can streamline their operations by offering fewer – but best-selling – products or services. For example, a restaurant with 12 entrees could reduce its menu to six top sellers. This will enable businesses to buy in larger amounts and negotiate better supplier deals. The same strategy goes for retailers and other business types.

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  • Offer curbside pickup. Curbside pickup can help you and your customers save on shipping costs. In addition, this service can help you win over many consumers who got used to the service during the pandemic and want to continue saving time and money. Start planning your curbside pickup system as soon as possible and let your clients know it is available.
  • Consider flexible payment options. This encourages business owners to take a proactive approach this holiday season by embracing digital payments and flexible payment options for consumers, to keep sales coming in. Buy now, pay later options, or the option to pay in smaller installments, could encourage consumers to make a purchase they wouldn’t have made if they had to pay up front.
  • Embrace Small Business SaturdayMany communities take the Saturday after Thanksgiving to support local small businesses. If your community does, take advantage and make sure to get involved in any activities or promotions taking place in person, online, or on social media.
  • Make a seasonal marketing strategy. Think up seasonal offers and spread the word. Some retailers sell gift certificates, hold holiday events, or offer discounts customers can use in January and February when the holiday shopping season dies down. If you have a brick-and-mortar store or a pop-up tent, plan your decorations and storefront ads. Use social media, local coupons, and your Google business profile to let customers know what you have to offer.
  • Keep your website, mobile app, and social media channels secure. Update admin passwords and enable two-factor authentication to keep your data, and your customers’ data, secure during the busiest time of the year. Train your employees in cybersecurity to help them recognize scams and to avoid cyber hacks.

-Written by Kevin Sawyer