A detailed list of all the things you need to do in the run-up to Christmas, in order to make this holiday season’s order fulfilment a success.
- Managing Supply and Demand
- Peak Season Aftermath
Estimating costs more precisely will reduce the risk of off-balancing your budget. Price your products or services so that you always generate enough revenue to pay your fixed expenses such as rent, utilities and insurance. Additionally, this will ensure the health of your business throughout the off-peak seasons.
Make sure you have earmarked part of your budget for extra staff around the holidays. Why? Because if you stick to just yourself and current staff you may still manage, but it can sometimes reduce the quality of work due to low personal well-being. Budgeting for extra staff allows you to lighten the load on your existing staff and produce the same quality of service that you deliver in the off-peak seasons.
There is immense power in data. You can use data to identify in advance what product lines will be most popular with your customers. Sales forecasting should be at the front of your mind when preparing for any potential peak in sales, such as Christmas.
With past sales data and structured business data, you have at your fingertips the information you need to highlight any correlations between sales and time, location, price and so forth.
Stock management software, Unleashed, provides all the sales data you need to make decisions on what to stock in the run-up to Christmas and other busy periods for your business.
Importantly, most social media platforms provide analytics and these can help you focus your promotional efforts in the right places. Social media is also a great place to stay ahead of consumer trends, allowing you to tailor your pitch to your target audience far more effectively.
Make this a priority. Future-proof your business practices by moving to the cloud. Make sure your data is available to everyone who needs it within your business during this busy time.
Using software such as Unleashed to automate your stock management will take a huge weight off of your shoulders and make inventory control seamless.
Paper-based systems and spreadsheets require a lot of manual effort, waste a huge amount of time and are prone to errors, which could affect your bottom line. Furthermore, working in the cloud has two major benefits:
- Your figures are accessible from anywhere that has an internet connection) at any time in real time
- You can integrate all your systems to work seamlessly together, so that you are not duplicating effort across different systems. Invoicing clients, updating inventory stock, updating client details is a breeze when you automate your processes
Managing Supply and Demand
Managing your supply and demand can be challenging. An ineffective stock management system can heighten stress around holiday seasons and result in lower customer satisfaction.
Unleashed, will give you an up-to-date view of your stock across all product lines, at all times to help you fulfil last-minute orders. Its reporting feature will help you to anticipate seasonal trends to help you plan.
Get social. Research trending hashtags, reply to customers, post content regularly – all things you can do in and out of the holiday season but it is particularly important to up your social media game and be part of the holiday buzz.
Delivering quality service around holidays will improve customer relationships greatly. They will remember that time when they needed a last-minute present, or when your product or service put a big smile on someone’s face. So get involved, like and share complimentary posts about your product or service, and have fun with it.
Post questions and encourage customers to answer, attract new customers with an increase in marketing, make your marketing valuable and genuine – this will build a rapport with customers, new and existing, that you can take advantage of all year-round.
Peak Season Aftermath
Yes, it’s a time to breathe and regroup – but make sure you don’t fall off the wagon.
Encourage customers who bought from you to leave a review – not only will boost your brand recognition and exposure but it will also give you a great insight into how well your business performs. Give these customers an incentive to review your business through word of mouth or on your website, which will result in a boost in SEO!
Cultivate activity in the off-peak season by asking people to sign up to your business newsletter and include calls-to-action along with special deals.
Furthermore, use the off-peak season to conduct stock-takes, plan for the next peak season and evaluate success. Again, this is a great time to evaluate your own processes and research competitors – maintain your edge and learn from your mistakes and others successes, it’s the key to a healthy business.
For more information about Unleashed stock management software, click here. To find out more about implementing Unleashed for your business or how to integrate Unleashed with your other systems, get in touch. We’re happy to help.