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How to Survive the Holiday Shopping Season

December 8, 2014 by Ed Becker

Now that the Holiday Shopping Season has officially begun with Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday, you should be prepared for the holiday rush. Was your staff overwhelmed with the rush of business and chaos of the busiest days of the shopping year? Did you have any technical issues that needs to be addressed immediately? Are you continuing holiday marketing campaigns to keep the extra business flowing? It is not too late to optimize your holiday strategy through technology optimization, website tweaks, marketing, clearing that pesky overstock, and building employee loyalty through team recognition.


This is definitely not the time to upgrade your systems or major programs. Introducing new apps to enhance your operations could wreak havoc on existing programs and apps that you desperately need to work properly. The best thing to do, if you have not already, is to tune up your systems. Have your IT department or guru do routine evaluations and maintenance, but that’s it. If you want to upgrade, overhaul, or test something new, wait until the new year when business is expected to slow.

Tweak Your Website

Make your website festive and welcoming for the holidays. Optimize your pages for load times and ensure that any glitches or bugs are eliminated. Shoppers are online to save time – they are not going to wait for your site if it is loading slowly. It also may be a great time to change passwords and beef up security to help alleviate hackers. Temporarily increasing your bandwidth may also be prudent as you will likely see an increase in traffic to your site which could slow or even crash your site.

Marketing for the Holidays

Even if you haven’t increased or specialized your marketing campaigns for the holiday season, it is not too late. Leverage your social media accounts and e-mail lists to run contests and promote exclusive sales and promotions. Offer special coupons only on social media and have them lead to a form page that builds your database in the process. There are many cheap, effective ways to keep your marketing strong throughout the holiday season.

Clear Some Stock

If you have some old stock that did not move well through the year, this is a great time to recoup the investment. These items can be holiday specials or even used as incentive to shop. One successful incentive to move old stock is to offer the item for free with a $50 purchase.

Building Loyalty

This is a great time to recognize your team. Holiday parties can be a perfect form of recognition. They do not have to be extravagant and they give your team the chance to mingle and feel recognition for their great work. Give out awards if you can’t offer bonuses, or even give out both if you can. But most of all, just have some personal down time for you and your team to relax and have fun.

Even if you are in a state of panic since last weekend, there are still quick ways you can gear up for the holiday shopping season. One of the best things you can do as a small business owner is stay calm and keep your stress under control. It will help your staff and customers stay calmer and enjoy their time in your business. This is also the time to make notes about how your operations can be improved for the next holiday season.

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