5 Tips for preparing your business for the summer/year-end break


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Holiday hours

Spring is here, and before you know it, you’ll be saying, ‘Happy Holidays!’ It can be hard to think about the holidays after a tough year in an economy almost constantly teetering on the brink of recession, but a profitable year end in your franchise business can make up for a lot.

Before the holidays get hectic, now is not a moment too soon to plan ahead for success. Many experienced franchise owners will have started this planning process in mid-year!

Prepare for a successful holiday season by reviewing the following five tasks and delegating among your team.

Make a holiday schedule

Decide on holiday operating hours, such as: Will you stay open longer than usual? Do you plan to close your business for a few days? Explain your expectations to staff, but you also need to take into account their holiday expectations. Instruct employees wanting to take leave over the year-end to do so by a certain date, so you can plan schedules accordingly.

Order supplies and stock

Start by reviewing last year’s orders to assess how much basic supplies you’ll need, whether it’s your own working stock or supplies such as packaging, paper towels and toilet paper for your restrooms, or branded gift cards for holiday shoppers. Remember that such suppliers most likely will be shutting (and becoming your customers) so order early to avoid missing out or paying higher shipping charges late in the season. Establish your vendor’s ordering deadlines to get product to you in time for the holidays, and clearly mark these deadlines on a calendar you can see easily. Don’t let these ordering deadlines pass you by.

Have a re-decorate party

Add a little extra flair to your shop if you are consumer-focused so as to stand out from the crowd. Make it fun by involving your whole team: plan a late-night or early-morning decorating party, ordering pizzas from your fellow franchises, and playing lively music. You can transform your business in a matter of hours and make your merchandise shine.

Double-check your website

This was one of our spring-cleaning tips, but if you haven’t yet done so give your website a once-over to make sure it’s not dated for the busy holiday season. Is it topical; is the design clean and easy to use? Can customers easily spot your most popular products or services? If you’re the person whose job the website is, have an objective third-person or trusted friend take a look at it. They may spot issues you might miss – but tell them to be critically objective.

Revamp your marketing campaign

Ask yourself why customers would want to spend time at your franchise this holiday season as opposed to the myriad others? What makes you stand out? Find that answer and build a marketing campaign around it. Maybe it’s as simple as you really care, or have the best selection in town. Maybe your customer service pulls in people. Build your holiday marketing around what makes your business unique.

In conclusion, don’t get despondent about the state of the economy – many businesses thrive in tough conditions by simply being better than their competitors.