Developing a Holiday Sales Strategy Early in the New Year

There's no better time than the present to start planning for the holiday shopping season as a beading business owner. Even if it seems like the holidays just passed, the most experienced entrepreneurs know that nabbing these year-end sales is a process that begins as soon as Christmas comes to an end.

Big businesses spend an ample amount of money and time when it comes to developing a strategy for holiday sales, and they don't wait until November to do so. Businessweek states that action needs to be taken now--not once the leaves start to change colors--in order to make the most of the biggest shopping time of the year.

Specifically, entrepreneurs should focus on making adjustments to aspects of their business, such as their website, product line and advertisement strategy. Here are a few tips for small business owners who want to get a jump start on their holiday plans.
  1. Tweak your website and make necessary updates regularly. Businessweek notes that many entrepreneurs tend to freeze their websites in the final months of the year. While it's true that any drastic changes to a website can potentially confuse consumers, making updates that can enhance the shopping experience can yield positive results.

    It's important for business owners to tweak their websites regularly for a number of reasons. You should always be looking for ways to provide the best service to your customers through the Internet, fixing any bugs along the way. These changes don't have to be extreme, but putting in an effort to better your site can go far, and not just during the holiday season.
  2. Stay connected to the community. If customers don't know who you are by the time the holidays roll around, they probably aren't going to come to you for their needs. The Bank of America Small Business Online Community states that it's important to reach out to the public and not just in the final months of the year.

    You might want to participate in a charity or hold a fundraiser event to gain notoriety. If you have a storefront, consider decorating it throughout the year to make it a memorable place to shop. These small tactics can keep you in the front of consumers' minds which will pay off during the holiday season.
  3. Incorporate a customer loyalty program into your strategy. Another way to make sure consumers have a reason to come back to you is through a customer loyalty program. These can be carried out in various ways, such as through discounts or in-store credit card systems. Although it takes an ample amount of planning and marketing to devise a customer loyalty program that can benefit your beading business, it can pay off, especially during the holiday shopping season.
  4. Develop a crowd control strategy for the holidays. It might seem like a frivolous concern, but crowd control is a big factor when it comes to how many sales you bring in during the final months of the year. This doesn't just mean coming up with a way to deal with the flood of people--you'll need a strategy for keeping your stock full and making sure that the check-out lines don't extend out toward the doors.

    It might be a good idea to create a budget in advance to handle these issues and any other unexpected problems that may arise. Use the first few months of the year to save up enough money to keep staff members on hand during the holidays and maintain your supply of goods.
  5. Use social media to your advantage. The Small Business Development Center of California states that one of the easiest marketing tools you can use to better your company is social media. At a time when a majority of Americans have access to the Internet, there's no better way to connect to your clients than through the internet.

    While it's true that social media can be beneficial during the holiday season, its potential can be improved if used throughout the year. Small beading business owners can reach out to consumers from around the country through websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare. Social networking websites are also a great way to host promotions and attract people to customer loyalty programs.
It may seem unnecessary to put forth a large amount of effort toward the holiday season as far back as January, but doing so may increase your number of sales at the end of the year. By developing a strategy early and putting these plans in motion sooner than later, you can benefit your small beading business.