Tips to help you prepare your business for the holiday season!
Here are 5 tips to get you ready for the holiday season:
1. Hire extra help. It may seem obvious, but September is when you hire people so you have plenty of time to assess if they are a fit for your business. Make sure you let them know that whether someone stays or goes in January is determined over the next several weeks.
2. Train everyone. Holiday help often gets less attention and that’s a mistake. Training goes much further than knowing how you should be greeting your retail customer. With more people coming through your doors, how your employees engage shoppers will make the difference between hearing I’ll take it and watching them take out their smartphones to purchase from a competitor. Here are the three most important things to train:
- How to engage a stranger
- How to sell your merchandise
- How to spot shoplifting behaviors
3. Set your holiday store hours. If you’re in a strip center or shopping mall, these should be already set by your landlord; if not, demand them now. If you are a freestanding store, refer to last year’s hours but remember, the longer you are open, the more likely you’ll make more sales. Post your hours now in the back room so your employees know how to plan.
4. Set staff schedule around your busiest times. You schedule for the traffic, then fill the need. The less shoppers have to wait, the more likely they will enjoy your shopping experience. Create the necessary shifts to create an engaging customer experience and hire to fill it; don’t hire employees then create a schedule when they can work. And don’t go lean - associates get sick, emergencies come up, etc. Bad customer service examples are littered with complaints that there was no one to wait on me.
5. Make sales a daily focus. The best retail crews make sales a daily focus with a huddle before shifts start. Role-playing how-to add-on, the benefits of the most expensive items you carry, how to open a Window of Contact can all be done in a five-minute start of every day huddle. Make huddling a habit now and it will pay off big time in December. Remember, you don’t hire people for tasks, you hire them to sell your merchandise.