The holidays are around the corner and you are both excited and anxious. Excited, because traditionally, the holiday season is good for your business and you look forward to the increased turnover and profits. And anxious that you might become so busy that you lose control of proceedings.
This is a genuine concern, because even though online shopping is becoming more popular in South Africa, the majority of people still like to visit a bricks and mortar store. This is particularly true in holiday season, so you need to be prepared for more customers, better stock management, higher cash intake and output, and numerous new pricing displays.
Here are some tips to make sure that you are well prepared for the holiday season, and that you retain control of your business, even when your shop is packed.
Prepare well in advance
Don’t wait for the holidays to start. Take advantage of the quieter periods to prepare yourself. Being properly organised will be 90% of the battle to keeping your head above water when the masses arrive.
Make a list of things you need to do and plan your pricing and stock requirements well in advance. Make sure you have a plan B and C, if need be, so that if action needs to be taken, you can act quickly and efficiently. This may be your busiest time of the year, but if things go pear shaped because of a lack of preparation, you could land up losing instead of making money.
When your shop is packed and customers are streaming in on a daily basis, the last thing you want is to run out of stock or have people queuing for too long to pay.
Pricing and shelf packing
If you plan to adjust your prices for the holidays, make sure you do so properly and in time. It’s advisable not to raise your prices too much, as it might be construed as greedy. Rather bank on increasing turnover and attracting new customers, who hopefully, will still be your customers long after the holidays are over.
Make sure your POS is up to date
Any adjustments you make to your stock levels or products must be entered onto a system that will update your POS and business records at the same time. This will allow you to quantify exactly how well you did during the holiday period, and plan properly for the next one.
Check your in-store displays
In-house marketing is important. Make sure your shop is holiday-friendly with decorations, and have at least one or two specials to entice people. This way you can attract new customers, many of whom will turn into regulars if their experience at your store is a good one.
Staff and security
So you have your pricing and specials set, you’ve ordered additional stock, decorated your store, and made more space to allow for the added customers you expect. You’re almost ready for the mad rush, but there is no point in preparing for extra people if you are not going to hire temporary staff to cater for the expected influx. Don’t ruin someone’s shopping experience at your store because you refused to hire extra sales or cashier staff.
The same goes for security. You are more vulnerable at this time, so make sure you have enough security personnel to prevent any theft or damage to your store.
Go the extra yard.
Remember, the holidays are only for a limited period and it’s worthwhile going the extra yard for your customers. This will mean that they return to your store, hopefully many times in the future.
When you do update or require maintenance on your sales hardware and software, contact your POS specialists at Arch Software.