The summer has come and gone and now that everyone is back to school and/or work, it is time to get back to business. October marks the beginning of the fourth quarter. As we enter in the last stretch of 2015, it is time to evaluate your business goals and engage with your customers and end the year with a bang! Is your business ready for the busy holiday season? Don’t get caught off guard! Here are 5 essential tips for businesses to help prepare for the busy season.
- Create a list
Consider what your goals are for the holiday season. Develop a day-to-day spreadsheet with goals, social media contests, specials, events etc. Planning weeks in advance will help maximize your time, efficiency and outreach. Consider how prepared your business is. Mobile online presence, website’s content and readiness for holiday shoppers, email and social marketing strategy are typically the main points of focus on during this time. Focus on what you do best and the areas that can be improved upon and be prepared to execute!
- Get your ducks in a row
Now that you have a list of tasks to complete, study your competitors and learn from their mistakes. Organize and begin to strategically execute the tasks at hand. Manage your stock and plan your inventory and shipping costs ahead of time to reduce shipping delays during the holidays. Determine if somethings will need to outsourced such as marketing and determine your budget for expenses during this time.
- Maximize your Presence
Review your marketing materials and website and determine if you ready for the busy traffic during this time. Make sure you have enough promotional material created for potential new customers. Ensure that your website and social media accounts are up to date to increase traffic and prevent any downtime that may arise from an outdated website. Maximize your time and use services such as Buffer or Hootsuite to auto-post your social media at scheduled times.
- Create a buzz!
After the blueprint has been set, it is now time to put your plan into action. Begin to speak up and let your customers know what is going on. Develop ways that will catch your potential consumers’ eyes. Engage with your customers online, send out a press release, and maximize your presence at events. Make the most of your presence by reposting customers feedback and keeping the conversation going. Use word of mouth marketing to your advantage to gain new potential customers. Adopting a charity or donating your services is another good way to get your customers involved.
- Measure Your Results
With only 3 months in the 4th quarter, it is important to take advantage of this time when consumers are expected to spend the most money of the year. Use analytics to measure the impact of your marketing campaigns. This will allow you to optimize your campaigns and determine if they were effective and you will learn the best ways to execute them in the future.