I have had my own retail craft and gift business for over 30 years. Through mistakes and successes, I’ve finally found the recipe for what makes a business thrive during the holiday season. Here are some tips to follow to ensure your retail business is as successful and stress-free as possible.
Plethora of Inventory
Having a plethora of inventory is a must in order to have a successful holiday season. Each year keep records of what products sold and if any items sold out. These records can help guide you on the amount of inventory you will need, products you should carry and items you should have more of during the holiday season.
Mailing List and Special Offers
Make sure that your customers sign up to receive special deals from you. The holiday season is an important time to offer special deals or have a giveaway. Send special coupon codes and sale announcements through email to your customers on your sign up sheet. A bring a friend sale is one that I found to been quite successful. When a customer brings a friend, they both get a special deal. This another way to introduce items to potential new customers.
Shipping and Wrapping
Always offer shipping during the holidays. Do research to find the best shipping rates and offer them to your customers. Offering a small fee to ship an item wrapped with a tag directly to the recipient of the gift is a perk customers love. The key is to make it as easy for the customer as possible. Also, offer wrapping at your retail store or craft show. I found my sales increased when I offered to wrap gifts at my holiday shows.
Attach tags with all your contact information on each of your items. This will make it easy for customers to contact you for another gift or special order. A recipient of one of your gifts may also want to purchase more because they loved what they got. Having this tag on their gift enables them to contact you. It’s also a good way to advertise what you’re selling.
Hiring Good Help
Hiring the right people to help you during the holidays can be stressful. When you hire seasonal help, make sure you educate them on the products you’re selling. Taking the time to properly train your holiday help will avoid a lot of headaches down the road. On busy days, you will need to rely on your help to answers any questions customers may have about what you’re selling. If you take special orders, they will also need to be able to handle this aspect of your business too.
Every holiday season to some degree is stressful for a retail business, but if you’re prepared, it can be a wonderful and fun time of the year.