OPERATIONS Finalize work schedules through mid-January. Check staff obligations and work around any clashes.
CUSTOMER RELATIONS Take a valued customer to lunch. Let her know you’re looking for some feedback on your store, to chat about the local market, and that you’d love to hear her ideas. People get a thrill out of knowing someone’s turned to them for help.
SECURITY Do you sell any goods online? Then you need a trust badge/SSL certification (think of those Norton seals you see at an online checkout). Not having one is a deal-breaker for 17 percent of shoppers.
DISPLAY Buy items that can do double-duty as Halloween and Thanksgiving items, such as pumpkins and scarecrows.
PRICING Start tinkering with your price strategy. Are you well stocked at your most common price points? Consider how you can take advantage of the season to move pieces that are showing their age.
NETWORKING Plot ways to get your face out in the community. Dust off your eye health, better vision, or eyewear trend speech, and be a voice in your small business community.
SOCIAL MEDIA Prepare an editorial calendar for your blog and other social media channels. Aim to post something new every day, be it a blog entry or video. It helps increase your site’s SEO at a time when people are hunting the Web for gifts and gift ideas.
MARKETING Finalize holiday email blasts. Offer gift ideas and exclusive deals. Top five days to send: end of October, Thanksgiving evening, Black Friday mid-morning, Cyber Monday afternoon, a week before Christmas.
OPERATIONS Measure the “true” square footage of your store. An estimated 30 percent of commercial space is wrongly measured, often favoring the landlord. It may not lower your rent, but it’s a good segue into the topic and finding ways your landlord can help you.
THANKSGIVING Start looking into gifts for referring doctors. Cakes and wine do well, but a more personalized gift like a customized bobble head or tickets to see a favorite team ensure these important patient sources remember you.
MARKETING If fashion-related sales are a big part of your business, invite local fashion bloggers to come and play with your holiday inventory.
EVENTS PLANNING The holiday season starts earlier each year. Check what high-end shops near you are doing. “If you steal one idea it’s plagiarism; if you steal a whole bunch, it’s research,” says consultant Kate Peterson.
TRAINING Create a schedule for daily role-playing sessions in the run-up to the holidays.
SECURITY Security is a bigger issue this time of year. Remind staff to be alert. Check camera angles and function.
This article originally appeared in the September 2017 edition of INVISION.
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