It’s the holiday season once again and your small business is most likely knee deep in the hustle and bustle of the season. As this is a very busy time of year for small businesses in Canada, like yours, it’s important to remember some important best business practices and to be cautious while taking advantage of the holiday rush.
Here are some tips to protect your business’ bottom-line this holiday season and increase sales in the process:
1. Be Sure to Not Over-Order Inventory yet Have Enough to Satisfy Demand.
A good way to estimate how much inventory you will need for the holiday season is to review your sales from the previous year and look at the various products you had available for sale and examine the quantities that were purchased. This will offer you a good starting point for planning your inventory numbers and allows you to estimate sales numbers.
2. Prepare Your Business for an Increase in Online Sales.
Does your business run predominantly online or does your physical store location also have a web purchasing option? As more and more Canadians are turning to online stores to do the majority of their purchasing during the holiday season, it’s important to expect and prepare for an increase of sales. Whether it be having enough inventory on hand or enough staff members available for preparing orders, don’t forget about having enough essentials on hand; shipping labels, bubble wrap, and even boxes.
3. Be Active on Social Media and Promote Your Sales.
Utilizing your social media platforms this time of year is a great way to boost your marketing efforts and highlight any sales you may be offering. As customers or members of your online communities post and interact with you on these platforms, take it as an opportunity to boost your customer service and build loyalty with them. From quirky contests to humorous holiday images, the options for utilizing your social accounts are endless. Remember to keep things tasteful!
4. Keep an Eye out for Potential Fraudsters.
This is a very important area of caution to keep in mind this time of year. As your business experiences an influx of customers coming through its doors, your employees are doing their best to juggle both their usual tasks and trying to provide great customer service to everyone who comes through your business’ doors. Fraudsters take advantage of these busy and hectic situations by intentionally confusing employees at the cash register for their own gain (financially). Here are some things you might want to implement with staff members who may be managing the cash registers on their shifts:
- If a customer is making a very large and expensive purchase on credit card and doesn’t appear to ask any questions regarding their purchase, it doesn’t hurt to ask them for ID just to verify that the name on the credit card matches the name on their ID. Be sure to match the image on the card with the individual making the purchase.
- If a customer is asking a lot of questions and seems flustered when making a payment, be sure to focus and double check the amount of cash handed to you before you enter it into the till. The customer may claim they provided you with more cash in order to fool you into giving them more change than required. If you find yourself confused by such a situation and questioning how much money the customer actually gave you, count you’re till to be sure.
If you have any questions regarding the information above or if you would like to discuss getting the right insurance for your business or for personal risk management, our Bullfrog Insurance brokers would be happy to help you out. Contact us today for a free quote!