November 2014 Issue
  >
This Month
Archive
Subscribe
Email:   >
Recommendation

Hunker Down for the Holidays

by Cynthia Fazekas

Battle ready!

The holidays are right around the corner! Hopefully, you already have a solid game plan and are well prepared for the season. If not, even late starters still have time to get a little holiday prep in before the busy season really takes off, but it would be best to rally now for a successful holiday season.

Devise gift sets and promos, social media marketing and events so you will be covered for the weeks to come. If your shop is busy with customers, it will deplete your time and energy needed to strategize these things. Carpe diem!

Order product now and order large to save on shipping and to ensure best pricing, as most vendors offer volume discounts. The holiday season is the perfect time to take advantage of these opportunities and gain extra room in your margins when it really counts.

If you intend to add seasonal staff, seek candidates now while you have time to be selective. If you wait and desperation sets in, standards will naturally be reduced. This can lead to personnel disasters such as unreliability, dispassion, and even dishonesty. Interview now while you can focus and filter out the "iffy" parties.

Have a "bad day’" action plan for worst-case scenarios. Determine food delivery and menus for hectic days when you and your staff just can’t get away (or when the food court lines are longer than break time.) Seek out (and train) a couple of reliable friends who can cover for a shift or two should your whole staff come down with a cootie. Restock your first aid kit. If you believe in Murphy’s Law, you might also believe that planning for disasters can almost preclude one from happening but even if this isn’t true, you’ll be ready for the worst.

Lastly, don’t forget your personal life. Plan holiday meals ahead so shopping and prep are no-brainers when the time comes. It also can’t hurt to have a back up catering plan. Holiday shop as soon as possible to save yourself the stress during peak holiday season.

Ready, set… GO!