4 Ways To Prepare For The Holidays As A Small Business Owner
Yep. It’s that time of the year again where we all complain about Christmas sweaters in Kmart, bon-bons in Woolies and the fact that it’s only October(surely there should be a law against Christmas decorations in store until at least November... right?).
But the real reason businesses big and small are starting to roll out their holiday products and offers now is because it’s the right time to.
BFCM is coming up. People start their holiday shopping earlier and earlier every year. And if you want to build hype around your upcoming sales or products, you need to start talking about it months in advance.
Which brings us to right about now. The last three months of the year. The lead up to Christmas.
I know it can feel really daunting to start preparing for the holidays as a small business owner. Not only do you have to decide whether you want to participate in BFCM or run sales throughout the festive season, you also have to manage increased demand for what you do, market your offers and do all of it while staying (somewhat) sane.
That’s why I’ve put together my top four tips for preparing for the holidays as a small business owner. Whether you run a service or product-based business, you’ll find some gems in this blog that will help you tackle the holidays with ease.
Are you ready to make the next few months a walk in the park? Of course you are, lovely, let’s do it.
Get your sales sorted
Are you participating in BFCM? Are you offering a holiday discount for your services, helping get leads through the door before you log off for the year?
No matter what your end of year offer is, you have to get it in writing now (if you haven’t already). You need to start talking about it now. You need to give yourself plenty of time to warm your audience up and get them excited about what you’re offering, so that by the time your sale is live, they can’t help but add it to cart!
And, regardless of whether you run a product or service-based business, you have to make sure you’ve got the stock, the capacity and the systems in place to handle the increased demand for what you’re offering. There’s no point marketing your discounted services if you don’t have capacity to take on new clients.
There’s no point marketing your discounted products if you don’t have many (if any) in stock!
Plan. Organise. And make sure you’ve got the systems in place to get through the busiest sales season of the year!
Sell, sell, sell!
If there’s one thing I’ve worked on the most through my time running Hali Helper, it’s my mindset around selling. I used to feel uneasy about marketing my services, thinking it would come across far too
Used-Car-Salesman-y and not enough I-just-want-to-help.
But you can’t run a business without selling what you offer.
And you can’t make the most of the holiday season (or your holiday offers!) without selling what you offer.
So, if selling also makes you feel uneasy, I invite you to reframe your beliefs around selling.
Think about selling like this: your offer fills a gap in your audience’s lives.
Your offer solves a problem your audience has.
You’re making a positive difference to the lives of your audience by sharing the benefits of what you sell. Without selling, your audience may continue living their lives without the benefits of what you sell.
Let’s look at virtual assisting as an example.
A lot of my clients didn’t realise just how much I could help them with in their business. Why? Because I didn’t sell my services. I wasn’t showing up on social talking about what I could do for the businesses I wanted to work with. I was sharing everything except information on what I did.
Do you want to know what happened when I finally started talking about how I could help businesses?
I started getting more leads.
I started getting comments saying, “I didn’t know you could help with this!”
I started getting DMs saying, “I need this in my life!”
None of my clients felt like I was a Used Car Salesman, sleazily conning them into giving me their money.
They were happy to invest in my services because it could make a real difference in their businesses.
And that’s what selling is all about.
Telling your audience how you can help them live their best lives.
It’s as simple as that!
Outsourcing is (always) the answer
No matter what the Insta gurus have to say, you don’t have to do it alone. You’ve never had to do it alone. Getting a helping hand in your biz is, arguably, the only way to scale without the dreaded burnout.
So (and I say this with love), put your ego aside and ask for help!
Whether you need extra hands on deck to process orders, handle your customer service or organise your systems, it’s time to figure out what you can hand over and actually hand it over.
Don’t know where to start? I’m the Queen of Outsourcing, so book a discovery call with me to talk about what you can outsource and how it will look!
Taking time off? Let us know
When all is said and done, you’re probably going to want to take a few days (or weeks!) off to recover after the crazy Christmas period!
But you have to let your wonderful customers and clients know when you’re out of the office and how long you’ll be out of the office for.
It’s all about setting expectations.
With service-based businesses, it’s about letting your clients know when you’ll be delivering on the services they’ve purchased. For me, as a VA agency, I’ll be taking a bit of time off, so I’ll let my clients know well and truly in advance what dates I’ll be off and what that means for our work together.
For most of my clients, they’re also taking time off, so they won’t need my services for the break.
But for those clients who are pretty much always on, it may mean that we do the work in advance (if possible), or that they DIY it until me and my helpers are back online in the new year.
With product-based businesses, it’s more about giving your customers the heads up with turnaround (and shipping) times. If you won’t be posting out orders for two weeks, it’s crucial they know before placing an order so they don’t get disappointed by longer-than-usual shipping times.
Taking time off is always a good idea. It’s a great way to rest and recharge for the year ahead. You know I’ll be taking at least a week off over the holidays to binge Drag Race, sleep in and take Harley on longer-than-usual walks.
But we all need to manage expectations, and the best way to do that is to set those expectations far (far) in advance.
By now, I hope you have everything you need to manage the next three months with ease.
If you need a helping hand throughout the holiday season, or just need someone to bounce ideas off, me and my Hali Helpers are here to help.
With our newest, best-selling, Buy My Time offer, you can lock in 5, 10 or 15 hours of our time to help with whatever holiday season tasks you need (customer service, file clean ups, inbox management–you name it!).
Book a discovery call to chat about your end of year needs and we can start lightening the load of the end of year madness that is running a business.
Chat soon, lovely!