Holiday Success Tips and Tricks – Part 4

Holiday Success Tips and Tricks – Part 4
By KATIE STAVERT
Los Alamos Business Assistance Services

Discount & Deals, Products & People

This is a continuation of our Holiday Success Tips and Tricks to help your business succeed this holiday season. We will be discussing how to best implement discounts and deals so that your business gets new customers but doesn’t go broke in the process.

Did you know that 61 percent of adults with household income of over $100,000 use coupons? Los Alamos has a median income of $133,365.

So, an important consideration for the holidays is the discount and deals that your business will offer. It is important to offer deals that make sense for your business and help keep and grow your customer base. Coupons and discounts bring customers in during the holidays when they have to make every dollar count. First, put a limit on the number of deals that are available and offer discounts only on products or services with high profit margins. Offer “Holiday Gift Bundles” to increase price points. You can also limit redemption of services to off-hours or slow days or redeemable only after Jan. 1. Another option is gift cards, especially when 8 in 10 shoppers give gift cards. Fact is that 61 percent spend MORE than the value of the gift card. The most common types of gift cards that people buy are department stores and restaurants. Then closely tied are bookstores, entertainment venues and coffee shops. Do you know what deals and discounts you are going to offer this holiday season?

Now that you’ve gotten your customers in the door, are you offering the right products and services?

The first step is to solve the customer’s dilemma about “what to get mom or dad” or “how to get the house ready for the holidays.” To do this, be sure to offer a range of services/products at different prices points to serve more customers. If you keep an inventory, remember that inventory is money in a different form. Don’t just purchase inventory because it is a good deal and keep as little as possible to avoid waste. This is your supplier’s busy season too, so be aware of their lead times. Best advice is to think like a holiday shopper and focus on those products and services.

An important part of the Holidays is having enough great staff.

The Holiday season brings extended hours, more customers, and more orders and sales. Do you have enough well-trained staff for the busy holiday season? Well the time is now to start thinking about it. Consider your existing workers first that might welcome extra hours and overtime, but be watchful for burnout and no-shows. Another possibility is temporary seasonal workers that you should be lining up now to train well so that your customer service doesn’t suffer. The key point is to train, Train, TRAIN your staff on the products and services, company knowledge, customer service protocols, sales ability, and procedures and policies. Here is a great HINT for hiring temporary workers, hire employees who can return year after year like retirees, college students or summer workers.

Up tomorrow is the 2013 Shop Local national campaign and how you can participate.

Los Alamos Business Assistance Services helps businesses with planning, marketing, financing, startups, training, and other specialized areas so businesses can start, grow and succeed in northern New Mexico. Visit our website www.losalamosbusiness.com for a no-cost, confidential appointment.

Source: Holiday Success Guide. Abrams Rhonda. The Planning Shop, 2012.

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