‘Tis the Season to be Preparing for the Season!

“Ho, ho, ho!”

That’s a direct quote from Santa. He’s sharing his Christmas cheer all the time while he’s making his deliveries on Christmas Eve and on into the early morning hours of Christmas Day.

For many in business, it’s convicting to think that Old Saint Nick can maintain his infectiously great mood throughout the entire season, especially when you consider how long he and his crew have been working to make everything go smoothly on their big day. Lots of us have a somewhat more difficult time keeping our attitudes properly aligned with the spirit of the holidays.

But, as with almost everything in life, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” It makes good sense to get your business ready for the holiday hustle and bustle. That way you’ll be more able to consistently spread good tidings starting on Black Friday and extending all the way into the “returns season.”

Get your assignments and schedules in order.

Do you have key employees who excel at certain jobs, like preparing displays? Meet with them and make sure their schedules work out with when you want their special jobs to be completed.

Also, poll your team and see if anyone is going to need specific days off at any point in time during the holiday season. Make sure you have the coverage you need for crunch time. Last-minute requests for time off cause real problems. Be flexible but stress that it’s only fair to you and coworkers to know well ahead of time about special requests for time off.

Are all your special promotions already mapped out?

If you’re having flyers or postcards printed, make sure you give your printer sufficient lead time. My favorite sign is from a local print shop. It had a cartoon of a guy doubled over in laughter saying, “You want it when?”

Not all of our graphics are printed today; many of them exist only in cyberspace and get displayed on our websites. Decorate your site — especially your home page — to reflect the holidays. Customers notice details like that and they reflect well on your business, plus it’s inexpensive to do.

You can also add a touch of the holidays to your email communications and on social media. Constant Contact has templates available for the big shopping days like Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, and holidays like Christmas, Boxing Day, Hanukkah, and New Year’s.

Get greeting and thank you cards out to your customers and clients.

Staying “top of mind” is, well, on everyone’s mind today and a nice card sent via snail mail makes a lasting impression.There is much to be said for old-fashioned courtesy.

Get your financials in order.

Following close on the heels of the holiday season is tax season — Ugh! — and you’ll be closing out your books for this year before all the bowl games are over and we crown a national champ in college football. Start thinking about it now and do what you can to make your job easier at the top of next year.

A little bit of planning and attention to detail now will help you maintain your state of “jollyness” through to the end of the year.

Want more advice on planning for the holidays? Head over to Constant Contact’s Holiday Resource Page

About the Author: Susan Solovic is THE Small Business Expert. Sign up for Susan’s Success Tips Newsletter and get your free copy of “Smart Marketing Strategies for Small Biz” ebook.

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