Early bird specials: Ways small businesses can prepare for the holidays

(BPT) – The holidays bring many things to mind — eggnog, Christmas trees, piles of presents, the first snowfall and more. However, for small business owners, the holidays signify more than good cheer and time spent with friends and family. For many small businesses, November and December mark the “make or break” time of the year, when the overall level of profitability is determined, and sometimes, these months decide whether or not the business survives.

No wonder many small business owners begin preparing for these two months well in advance.

Many experts in the field argue that a successful holiday season begins in the virtual world. Increasing bandwidth and redesigning your website to attract more customers are all part of an overall tune up that is vital to avoid any headaches during the busy rush.

Stock up and plan for doorbusters

From the cyber world to the world of brick and mortar, inventory planning is at the foundation of a successful holiday season. For many small business owners, stocking up early is a way to secure the best deals from vendors. The challenge is in navigating between running out of product and being overstocked with unsold product. This involves a balance between consulting last year’s sales reports and this year’s projections. It’s part science and part art.

With inventory, sales projections and numerous other figures lined up behind the scenes, many proceed to decide what products will attract customers to the store. These are the so-called doorbusters, and the earlier they are announced, the more successful they are at generating the buzz that gets customers flocking to the store. For years, small business owners have been turning to Staples Copy & Print to help create this buzz. From customized printed signs and banners to promotional gifts, the marketing solutions they need are available at their neighborhood Staples.

A time to give back to your customers

Many small business owners find it important to show their appreciation and give thanks to the people who keep their businesses strong: their customers. At Staples, small business owners can create branded calendars or magnets with a year at a glance calendar on them. Many find such gifts perform the double duty of customer appreciation and advertising.

Keep morale high

Needless to say, the holidays are a stressful time of year for small business owners. They can also be stressful for employees. As the hours add up, it’s important for business owners to keep the morale and energy high among the employees. Often times this is done by giving incentives that reward performances or goals met.

Staples offers many higher end gifts, such as laser engraved Bluetooth speakers and travel bags that can be given as rewards, or gifts, to employees.

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