Happy Holidays: How To Prepare Your Business For Seasonal Success
The lights along Bernard Street twinkle, while the crisp, frosted vineyards and glittering, snow-powdered hills shimmer with merriment. You know the signs – it’s the holiday season in Kelowna, British Columbia. Is your business ready?
For Kelowna employers, there’s a certain workplace chaos that occurs around this time, something that’s pretty much expected in a region where gorgeously tantalizing ski mountains convince thousands of locals to take their vacation hours to Christmas chalets and New Years resort getaways.
Besides the stress of staffing, there are a seemingly endless number of tasks to tackle between November and January, including inventory, customer appreciation campaigns and holiday events. And that’s just at the office!
Let’s look at some powerful ways to prepare your business to not just meet the demands of the holiday season, but also thrive in the festive spirit, so you can have more time to spend with family (and at the ski hill!)
This is the last year you will mock your friend/colleague/partner for snapping up discounted Christmas decorations in the summertime months. They’re on to something revolutionary – it’s called planning ahead.
From inventory to seasonal staffing, vacation scheduling and marketing campaigns, “the key to success is early preparation,” as Open Forum contributor Justine Grey says.
She suggests you start with a brainstorming session to determine “what’s working for your business, what’s not, and how to make things better,” for the holiday season.
From there, devise a schedule for completing the tasks that should help your company run smoother than last year.
Secure Your Staff
There’s no place like home for the holidays – and that’s why every December seems to come equipped with a dizzyingly challenge: the staff schedule.
Start assessing employee vacation requests now to ensure you’re not short-staffed at crunch time.
Consider your resources; recruitment services make it easy to add seasonal employees to your team, stress-free. Besides increasing operational productivity and customer service quality, beefing up your seasonal staff also reduces the likelihood of employee burnout during this busy time of year. Just an extra helper or two could make all the difference.
Retrain for Results
Whether you onboard seasonal employees or not, it helps for customer-facing businesses to recharge their teams for the holiday rush with additional service and operational training.
“Your customer service has the potential to have the biggest impact on your holiday season,” says Vertical Response contributor Brendan Hill. Long lineups, exhausted employees, and missing inventory could bring out the Grinch-like sensibilities of your otherwise charming customers.
Communicate strategies for dealing with operational challenges to your staff well in advance of the big hit. Give seasonal employees time to get acquainted with your in-store processes and equipment. Maximize the value of your training with professional recruitment services for skilled, suitable temporary workers that fit your requirements and adapt to your work environment seamlessly.
Say Thank You!
In the time it takes to write an email message and pull some festive images together, you can deliver a memorable thank-you message and set your business apart from the competition.
Sincere, personalized e-cards are an affordable and effective way to connect with vendors, prospects and clients without losing pace during the chaotic holiday season. Check out this free e-card template and lead-generating guide from marketing software company Hubspot for everything you need to get started.
For productivity that would impress the most efficient of givers (Santa Claus), send out your holiday cards before December 1st.
Don’t Forget To Celebrate
If your stern bookkeeper needs you to provide another reason for hosting a holiday staff event, consider the benefits of employee retention.
There’s no better way to recognize and celebrate the hard work your employees invest all year than with an after-hours, pre-holiday event.
That’s right: plan it for a weekday before everyone splits for family time. And don’t insist everybody bring a salad or dessert. “Treat your employees as guests,” says catering company founder Ricky Eisen in Karen E. Klein’s article “It’s Fall. Time for Retailers to Plan for the Holidays”.
Host the event in-office to save venue costs, and cater within your budget (don’t feel pressured to deliver an all-organic three-course dinner). The point is to bring everybody, from “rank-and-file employers to top managers,” together for some well-earned festive cheer.
Now It’s Your Turn
Traditions thrive, even in the workplace. What does your company to do get ready for the holiday season? Share in the comment section below!