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Small Business Tips: How and Why to Start Planning for the Holidays—In the Summertime!

By Justin Reynolds

For many companies, July is extremely slow. Still, just because there might be less traffic and fewer sales doesn’t mean summer can’t be incredibly useful for small businesses, especially those who get busy during the holidays.

While the winter holidays might seem unfathomable right now, they’ll be here before you know it—which is a good thing for many small business owners. According to a recent study, retailers generate as much as 40% of their annual revenues during the holiday season. While other kinds of businesses might not be that reliant on the holidays, odds are many of them enjoy a similar uptick in sales.

Small business owners would be wise to do everything in their power to make sure their companies can handle year-end rushes. Instead of scrambling to get your plan in order as the holidays get closer, why not use the slow time during the summer to prepare for what’s likely your company’s busiest time of year? It’s never too early to start preparing your business for the holiday season!

Four Ways to Plan for the Holidays

  1. Brainstorm holiday promotions

    Meet with your team to determine which sales promotions you want to push. Finalize your year-end marketing campaigns and begin assembling relevant content and other materials.

  2. Consider strategic partnerships

    Can your company benefit from partnering with a local business or nonprofit organization? Now’s the time to set the wheels in motion—before it’s too late.

  3. Tackle projects ahead of time

    Is there any work that usually occupies a lot of time toward the end of the year that could be tackled right now? Get everything off your plate that you possibly can during the summer so you’ll have more time when you need it.

  4. Assess tools and technologies

    Are you still relying on outdated technologies to serve your customers? In addition to higher sales, businesses are likely to have more customer complaints during the holiday season. Make sure your workers have the tools they need to provide exemplary service. If not, upgrade immediately so employees have enough time to get up to speed.

Slow customer traffic during the summer months doesn’t mean you should slack off. View any downtime as a an unexpected gift and make sure to capitalize on it. The more work you put in ahead of the holidays, the smoother—and more lucrative—the end of the year will likely turn out.

Who knows? You may even find out that summer downtime is the most important part of your year because it allows you to get ready for the holiday rush.

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