Business Tip: Get ready for holiday shoppers

Nov. 20, 2012 at 5:20 a.m.

By Lisa Barr

It's time for the holidays, and as a small-business owner you are probably excited about that.

Usually, Christmas shopping is a large percentage of your total yearly revenue if you're in retail, food service or the hospitality industry.

This time of year is your time to shine because you will have the biggest amount of both new and existing customers doing business with you.

Because of this, you want to really showcase all the wonderful things you can provide to your customers.

By making them a valued customer now, they will continue to shop with you throughout the year.

But are you really ready to shine this season? In case you are wondering if there is anything more you can do to make your holiday season great, here are some tips.

Nerves and tensions are high. Remember, customers are on edge during the holidays, trying to find the perfect gifts. Teach your employees or find a customer service training they can attend to help them better deal with disgruntled customers. (Hint: Call the UHV Small Business Development Center.)

If you have the ability to reorder product, keep your products in stock and on the shelf at all times. It can't sell if it's in a box in your stockroom.

Make sure your business is clean and shopper friendly. Clutter is not good and neither are shelves that look like they have been rummaged through. This is where having enough staff to tidy up things on a regular basis pays off. If you are easy to shop, then customers leave happier and buy more.

These tips are just some of the things that I know to be true from my retail background and from working with small business owners at the UHV-SBDC.

One last tip: Watch our website for upcoming, free training that you might find useful for your employees. I hope everyone has great holiday sales and breaks their sales records from last year.

I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Lisa Barr is the senior business advisor at the University of Houston-Victoria Small Business Development Corporation.



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