As we draw closer to the festive season, business owners need to be wary of the holiday rush. Just because the world has been in lockdown for so long, doesn’t mean that you can take your foot off the gas. All market indicators are showing that we will, in fact, see the same old surge around the festive season, despite most customers not shopping in-person. Online shopping dictates everything, and for the most part, has done so for the better part of a decade. But, with this comes new and old challenges, as every business needs to be sharp and ready in inventory management, sales, marketing, customer service, and invoices. This is how you can keep your business up and running, without backlogs and hiccups during the holiday rush.
Conduct a health risk assessment
In a risk assessment, you’re not just calculating the health and safety risks, but also the threats to your business. Customers and staff are equally as important, don’t forget this! As the number of cases rises in the Coronavirus, the threat of spreading occurring in your business rises too. This is why whether you’re still working in the office or working from home, you should take the same precautions or have precautions in place. Here’s what you need to do safety-wise.
- Determine whether any activities you have to do, could promote transmission? Do you work in the office alongside employees? How can everyone avoid getting the virus? Wear masks, have hand sanitizer bottles on the desks, and keep airflow strong in the office.
- Your workers in warehouses and or production plants need to take similar precautions. They should also be wearing protective gloves if they can, and making sure that they are aware of tight spaces, gathering and a lack of airflow.
- Determine how likely you can control a spread if it occurs. Do you have a track and trace system you can use? Can you give employees sick pay, to keep them at home? Can you ask them to work from home if they do strike positive for the virus?
Analyze the competition
Alongside your own desires as a business, you need to study and know your competition. For example, you should be keeping tabs on your rivals, seeing what kind of marketing ploys they have, what kind of sales, discounts and deals they are offering, as well as what kind of products they are going to be selling alongside yours. In the latter, you need to know the pricing, quality and branding efficacy, etc.
Some rivals will be pitching to your consumer base, comparing your prices and your products to their own, openly in ads. You must be wary of this. Many retail companies will literally show a product you sell and compare the price of the same or similar product they sell, in an ad. How do you fight back against this? You must be ready for your rivals to do this beforehand!
Increase your storage capacity
The only thing worse than being caught out by a rival, is catching yourself out. This occurs during the festive season more than any other time of year. Small businesses don’t plan ahead concerning their capacity for inventory management. What if you need to have a large storage capacity because sales are much higher than anticipated? You can carry on the Christmas rush over to New Year’s and beyond if you are wise.
That’s why you should consider building one of these custom industrial sheds. These metal structures can withstand any weather, they provide ample room for lots of stock storage, as well as being very easy and quick to erect. Such an industrial shed can be the perfect way to expand your business and reach. If you have export needs as well as domestic sales, but you need more storage space, this is the kind of affordable option entrepreneurs and small business owners should try.
Segment your base
Every single company in the world has a consumer base. These are people that love your brand, they keep coming back, they buy products you make and they will hold your brand in very high regard among your competitors. But you must know who they are, what kinds of individual groups there are and how to market to them.
Your base will have the following types of groups.
- Veterans. These are consumers who have been with you for years and always check to see if you sell something they want, every other week or month.
- Loyal consumers. These are people who will put you in their top 5 companies to buy from when they are looking for products in the categories you sell.
- The new and enthused. The types of customers that have just found out about and are wondering what on earth took them so long. They will be excited to see what you have to offer as opposed to the companies they have always bought from.
Get ready for rules changes
We live in a Covid-19 world now, and the government can change the rules at any moment. Rather than wait for this to happen, you should have plans in place that give you leeway no matter what kind of changes occur.
This again, requires a risk assessment, because you need to know what your options are. Evaluate the following.
- Tunnel sales. If your country goes into lockdown, can you still make export sales? Can you still make sales to other business clients?
- Plan your most drastic sales and discount offers. If worst comes to worst and the market begins to freeze up again, consider what kind of sales you can offer to break even at the least and make a little profit at the most.
- Work with governments. Engage with the representatives and respond to calls and emails. Accept invitations for consultancies and express your concerns to the elected officials.
The festive season is always a rush and hectic time for consumers as well as businesses. While you still have time, make as many positive changes as you can. With these measures, you should be able to proudly call your business Christmas-proof.
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