The holiday season is right around the corner, and it is important to get an early start to prep your local business for the holiday rush.

From digital marketing strategies to supply chain management to employee schedules, a lot goes into getting a business prepped for the holidays. Just remember to start planning early.

Whether you just started a small business or simply want to better prepare for the holiday season, here are five essential tips from our team at Klout 9.

Create Staff Schedules

Above anything else, organization is the number one thing your business should prioritize when getting into gear for the holidays, so set up staff schedules right away.

Everyone wants to celebrate the holidays, your employees included, which is why you should figure out when they will be working during the holiday and communicate your plan with them ahead of time.

Many businesses work overtime or are open longer hours due to the holiday rush, meaning employees have to stay longer.

To keep motivation up, especially during the peak holiday season — Black Friday weekend and the week of Christmas—incentivize your employees, such as through gifts, bonuses, or overtime pay if they need to work during peak hours or holidays.

You can also hire seasonal employees to supplement your full-time staff.

Stock Up on Extra Inventory

You can probably already assume that you’ll need more supplies and inventories for the holidays because, on average, sales go up then.

Order raw materials, office supplies, hot items, and anything else you’ll need ahead of time and in bulk to prep for the holiday rush.

Just remember to mark everything you buy in a calendar and check in with distributors frequently.

Get Your eCommerce Website Ready

While more people shop in-person during the holidays, many still order gifts online.

eCommerce has a convenience factor that shopping in person doesn’t have. People with family and friends who live far away can order gifts online, often with custom packaging and notes, and ship them across the country directly from an eCommerce site.

If you have an eCommerce site, set up and start custom deals for online shopping and fix any bugs on your site.

You’ll likely have more visitors to your website during the holiday season, so make sure that your website can handle the extra traffic.

If your business is new to eCommerce, always do some test orders and mock runs to make sure your website is working efficiently.

Update Business Hours on Listings

Don’t forget to update your business hours online, so customers know when your business will be open during the holiday season.

Make sure you have the most updated business hours on listing platforms such as Google My Business, Facebook, Yelp, Bing Places, and more.

One of the worst things that can happen is that you get a terrible review or miss out on a potential customer because they come at the wrong time.

Also read: 5 Digital Marketing Tips for the Holiday Season

Create Holiday Posts on Social Media

Let your social media audience know that you are just as excited as they are for the holiday season by posting videos and images of your store decorated in the festive spirit, promoting certain items that are on sale, and wishing your followers a happy holiday.

If you really want to create an effective holiday social media campaign, target people on all platforms and always display a unique value proposition.

Lastly, be interactive with customers and always respond to customers’ reviews or comments on your social media posts to show them that you care.

Klout 9 Will Help You Develop an Online Presence to Drum Up Business for the Holidays

Without lots of prior experience or dedicated staff familiar with digital marketing and website development, bolstering your business’s online presence could be a challenge. If you find your business in this situation, contact the professionals at Klout 9.

We are a social media marketing agency in Lafayette, LA, that also offers design, SEO/PPC, web development, and video production services. Trust Klout 9 to help you connect with customers online to drive sales this holiday season. Contact us today!

Contact us for a free consultation!