How to Prepare Your Business For the Influx of Holiday Orders
The holiday season is a much-awaited time of the year when people are shopping for gifts, traveling to meet family and friends, and decorating their homes with festive elements. For a business owner, however, it can be a completely different picture. An influx of purchase orders is something that you’ll often be dealing with during the holidays as an entrepreneur. And while it might be a good problem, it’s something that you definitely need to be ready for. Here are seven tips on how to prep your business for the upcoming surge in orders:
Reduce the Strain on Your Back Office
For storefront businesses, the influx of orders and the extended store hours typically mean managers are unable to check in on the back-end operations of their business. Help your back office operate more efficiently by investing in technology that automates repetitive tasks, such as accounting and billing. Technology that captures, stores, and summarizes customer information can also help your back-end office handle day-to-day transactions better.
Revisit Your Insurance Coverage
The holidays are undoubtedly the busiest time of the year for most businesses. Apart from businesses that sell consumer goods, those involved in logistics are also working day and night to fulfill the distribution needs of other businesses.
Make sure your commercial trucking insurance plan adequately covers the seasonal spike in activity. There are many benefits to a comprehensive commercial insurance policy, including preventing your business’ downfall in the event of unexpected disasters.
Minimize Employees Calling in Sick
Holidays are a busy time for businesses, but it’s also commonly a time of the year when employees are calling in sick and trying to get off work. To get ahead of this common seasonal issue, revisit your attendance policy and draft a fair no-call, no-show policy if you haven’t yet.
You should also make it a point for employees to accept their work schedules in advance with management. A verbal or written confirmation from each employee to the HR department can help prevent any excuses from absentees.
Prepare For the Increased Financial Requirements
An influx in orders means more working capital spent on ordering inventory. But most business owners, especially inexperienced ones, fail to prepare for this phenomenon. As a result, they limit their potential profits for the season.
Give yourself some financial leeway this holiday season by applying for a business line of credit. This gives you more working capital to allocate towards more inventory as well as tools and services you’ll need for the increased workload.
Use a Distribution Partner
It’s going to be a battle trying to fulfill orders and manage inventory, a battle you can nowadays outsource to a distribution or order fulfillment partner. These companies can help you deal with the logistical headaches of getting your product from point A to point B.
And while it does mean an increased cost for your business, it also gives you more time and energy to focus on your sales and marketing efforts.
Hire Seasonal Workers
Adding people to your payroll can be expensive, but temporary workers can help support your operations during the holiday season. As soon as you anticipate a surge in orders, whether it’s due to a holiday or a market trend, start hiring people.
This gives you more time to vet applicants thoroughly and for new hires to be onboarded properly. Just because they are seasonal workers, it does not mean you shouldn’t take as much time and effort with the hiring and onboarding process.
Get in the Spirit
While you might be busy fulfilling orders and managing inventory, don’t forget to work on your business’ image this holiday season. Your brick-and-mortar store and/or eCommerce store should reflect the festive time of the year.
Put up the appropriate decorations, send holiday greeting cards to your loyal customers, and host employee parties and customer events, which also further promote your business.
With the aforementioned tips, you can capitalize on seasonal opportunities to profit and promote your brand. Following these tips will allow you to compete with larger companies that have more resources at their disposal. Being prepared will also help you reduce the stress that the holiday brings. Instead, you can enjoy your free time outside of business with family and friends.