Managing your business during the holidays can be a challenge. Whether you own a restaurant or retail franchise, a dropshipping company or an e-commerce store, management strategies during this time of the year are an entirely different beast. Depending on your business, you’ll either experience a lull or be busier than ever.
With that said, you want to be creative when dealing with changes to your business. Here are 6 ideas you can use to effectively manage your business during the holidays.
1. Consider Seasonal Workers Early Into The Year
If your business experiences a busy season, it’s crucial to hire seasonal workers a few months before the holidays. Depending on your business, you’ll need more people than usual. Hiring them early in the year gives you time to train them thoroughly—the last thing you want, especially during the holidays, is for your staff to make mistakes or leave you short-handed.
2. Rotate Remote Check-Ins For Hybrid Teams
If your team works remotely, consider different holiday check-in strategies that account for shifts in peak hours, ensuring employees can report in as needed without drops in productivity.
And if members of your team are spread across different time zones, try shifting check-in times to different hours to best serve your peoples’ habits.
3. Optimize Your Business Work Hours During The Holidays
Many of us like to relax and de-stress during our weekends and holidays. As your business can be busier than ever, it may seem necessary to add work hours for your workers. While it might be tempting to work a few hours early or stay a little late, the truth is it’s a terrible idea.
There are a lot of things that can go wrong when you overwork your employees, especially during an already busy period. You can exhaust them enough to make them feel burnt out or depressed, which can lower morale.
So, when the holidays start rolling around, take extra precautions to manage workloads.
For a creative example: instead of extending your total hours of operation, consider shifting open times to the busiest periods of the day. This should help you save on operating costs and create a level of scarcity while making your people feel happy.
4. Improve Your Marketing Practices
You should invest the most into marketing during your business’ busiest months of the year. For instance, if you own a flower shop, you can bundle your flowers during holidays to increase sales. In addition, you can increase the price per bunch or cluster.
Even if the holidays aren’t your busy season, and you commonly pause spending until “customers are thinking about your industry again,” you may want to maintain some marketing presence, as the holidays can still be a great time to build a brand presence. Plus: since more people are spending money in general, you may still see results.
It’s also crucial for you to advertise your holiday pricing as early as possible. Consumers love sales and discounts, and the longer they’re aware of your specials, the more they’ll consider buying.
5. Allow For Time Off But Keep People On Call
People need time off during the holiday, whether the business is experiencing a lull or is busier than ever. Their availability must therefore be balanced with their vacation.
This balance could look like:
- Giving retail employees more days off, but ensuring they’re on call in the event of emergencies
- Allowing sales staff to work from home but scheduling call-ins to maintain engagement
In implementing any plan, the most important thing is clearly informing workers of their obligations.
6. Prioritize Customer Support
You can’t neglect your customers—or they won’t be customers for very long. On the other hand: your support team may not be equipped to work overtime when customers are calling in the most.
To prevent burnout in your support team, prioritize them when preparing for seasonal highs. To handle overflow, you can also engage an outside agency to supplement your internal team (though you may want to keep someone in-house on call at all times in case of emergency).
The Bottom Line
Managing your business during the holidays can be tricky, and the surest way to succeed is by planning ahead. Depending on the size of your business, you might need to plan weeks, if not months, in advance.
Looking for more support to help prepare your business for the holidays? Consider hiring a consultant with experience managing operations and staff. Browse Cansulta’s vetted experts in operations, marketing, human resources and more to find you, and your business, the help needed to thrive.