Get Busy Season Ready: How to Prep Your Business For A Boost In Sales

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The festive season is a busy time for many businesses, as customers flock to the stores and cash flow increases. It often starts with the Black Friday sales and continues through to Christmas, Boxing Day and into the January sales period.

As a small business owner, you need to be prepared for an influx of traffic and an increase in sales volume. There’s nothing worse than having problems arise when things are getting hectic. This can be stressful for you and your employees. 

It’s worth taking some time to go through staffing levels, your budget, stock and employee schedules so you can best prepare for the season ahead. The right preparations will help ensure your operations run smoothly. 

Not sure where to start? We’re here to help. Keep reading for our tips and insights into how you can prepare your small businesses for the busiest time of year.

Assess Your Staffing Levels

The first step in making sure you’re ready for the busy season is ensuring you have an appropriate level of staffing and all employees are set up for success.

Employees are essential for the running of small businesses, so make sure they’re all trained on any new protocols or technical systems and ensure newly hired staff members have polished their service skills, ready to deal with an influx of customers. It’s a good idea to sit down for an informal staff meeting before the busy period hits, so they can voice any concerns they might have and you can alleviate their stress.

During the busy season, cash flow tends to also drastically increase. While this means more money coming into your business, it also means higher demands on your checkout counter and payment processes. Hiring some additional casual staff over the peak shopping season may help alleviate any in-store strain. Seasonal workers are a great way to manage the workload and there are sure to be a lot of people looking for part-time or temp work around that time.

Ensure Your Payment Processing Systems Can Handle The Pace

The ideal payment processing setup allows customers to quickly pay in a variety of ways, from cash to contactless cards and app-based payment solutions like Apple Wallet or Google Pay. While cards and contactless payments reduce the queues at the registers, they lead to an increase in EFTPOS transaction fees coming out of your business’s bottom line. Smartpay Zero Cost™ EFTPOS, which helps you save on these merchant transaction fees, puts the money back into your business.

With the increase in customers, businesses should also test in-store technology, including their POS system and EFTPOS terminal to ensure any connection issues are addressed.

Take Charge Of Stock Issues

To get ready for all those extra customers, businesses should prepare early and ensure they have enough stock to cover demand. Supply chains can be affected by loads of issues (transport blockages, natural disasters and weather) so stocking up to avoid supply chain blockages is also a good idea. Getting your stock levels right during the holiday season can be tricky, but looking at past sales records can help you predict and plan. 

Restocking as soon as your products arrive and immediately contacting any customers on a waitlist should also help ease some stress. 

Try to rearrange stock to keep shelves looking full, communicate with consumers around timelines for item deliveries and ensure staff recommend similar substitutes if an item is sold out or heavily delayed. 

Importantly, if you don’t already offer extended trading hours during the busy season, you should consider doing so. This not only helps sales volumes but also allows customers to spread out their shopping visits, avoiding a last-minute rush and potential disappointment if an item is out of stock.

Boost Your Marketing

Not yet on social media? It’s time to change that. Platforms like Facebook, TikTok and Instagram can be cheap and effective ways to market your business and update customers.

With summer in full swing, it’s an ideal opportunity for fun seasonal content, covering upcoming events, deals you’re offering or even showing off the day-to-day activity in your business. If you aren’t posting, you may miss out on business opportunities.

Offer Promotions

Summer sales and promotional offers are a great way to attract customers, especially in retail and hospitality. If you work in hospitality, think about hosting a special event. You could set up a happy hour or have kids eat free one day a week. 

If you work in retail or provide products and services, your customers will love Christmas specials on key products and gift packages. Offering gift wrapping in store is also a big drawcard!

Enjoy The Season

Busy periods can be stressful, but these bustling times are also golden – customers are eager to splurge on offerings, revel in in-store experiences and show love to your business. The busy season is a prime time to ramp up sales and wrap up the year on a high.

Want to know more about surcharging?

If you’re ready to embrace the busy but not so keen on the extra EFTPOS fees, it’s time to talk to us about surcharging on EFTPOS and what you could save. Get in touch with the Smartpay team today.

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