How to Prepare your Small Business for the Fall Season
Summer is winding down, the days are getting shorter and cooler, and the leaves are starting to turn. The beach vibe of the previous few months is being replaced with a business-first focus once again.
Yes, change is certainly in the air at this time of year. Is your business ready to handle what’s ahead?
This isn’t a winter preparedness drill. The questions here aren’t whether you have a rake ready now, and a shovel set to go later. Instead, now’s the time to ask whether you have a plan for you and your business to finish the year strong, and what you can do to make the most of the upcoming holiday season.
As the seasons change, here are a few things to consider:
Take stock of the year so far, and readjust for the stretch run
It’s been more than eight months since you set goals to start the year. How have your targets and priorities changed in the time since? What three to five things are especially important to take care of before the calendar turns again? How have you fared in your efforts to work smarter and more efficiently? Don’t let daily distractions keep pushing big picture issues to the back burner any longer. Now is a good time to evaluate and adjust your focus and work habits and make sure you’re on the right path to finish the year the way you intended.
Is it time to upgrade or refresh?
Is your office in need of upgraded computers? How much would your staff benefit by getting newer cell phones? Do your social media channels and your website need an overhaul? Check around to see whether there’s something new available, whether it’s software or hardware, that might help your business perform better.
New roles, new hires
How have your employees and their daily roles changed over the year to date? Maybe there’s someone who needs a new challenge, or has earned expanded responsibilities. If summer interns have moved on, make sure the projects they worked on don’t gather dust or fall through the cracks. Ensure you have the people in place for the busy months ahead, and see whether there’s someone new who’d made a super addition to your team.
Get a holiday plan in place
The busy sales period associated with Christmas and Hanukkah celebrations in December is an active, vital one for many businesses. Ensure you’re ready to succeed this holiday season by determining which of your products or services will be in high demand and planning out strategies to market and promote these items. Make sure your website is ready to handle increased traffic, and load it up with SEO-friendly content for your featured products and offers. Ensure budgets are ready to handle increased staffing and shipping costs once holiday shopping hits its peak. Finally, get your holiday cards designed, printed and ready to send to your clients with help from The UPS Store.
Don’t forget the holidays that happen before December
The final few months of the year bring a whole host of holiday celebrations and annual events that your small business can leverage in different ways. Now’s the time to start thinking of creative promotional ideas before Thanksgiving and Halloween arrive in October. Don’t dawdle, either, because you’ll want plenty of time to prepare for the rapid-fire trio of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday in late November.
Show your staff some love
You’ll be counting on your employees to push themselves from now until the end of the holiday season. Make sure you and they are motivated and engaged, not struggling to snap out of the summer doldrums. Get everyone recharged for the road ahead with activities and info-sharing sessions, and make plans to reward them for their efforts by scheduling a party or handing out bonuses before year’s end.