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The holidays are right around the corner. As people plan for their holiday shopping, small businesses need to plan to meet customer demands. There are a lot of elements that go into planning for the small business holiday season. Forget one, and your entire strategy might be thrown off!

If you haven’t made seasonal preparations for your business yet, it’s not too late. Use these financial and managerial tips to ensure your small business is prepared as we head into the holiday season.

Create seasonal sales goals

For many small businesses, the holiday season is the busiest of the year. This means that the sales goals you usually stick to throughout the year might not be appropriate for this high-volume period.

If you’ve run your small business for a year or two, take a look at past holiday data to generate a sales goal for this year’s season. However, even if your business is brand-new, you should still create a sales goal. Use data from the past few months to form a goal that’s realistic given your business’s anticipated demand.

Looking back on your sales goals after the season ends is a great way to learn what went wrong, what went right and what you need to change for next year.

Talk to your vendors and suppliers

Supply chain issues are rampant this year, in particular. You don’t want to be caught without the inventory you were expecting—especially if your sales skyrocket!

Now is a good time to check in with your suppliers about their capabilities. Discuss your inventory needs and learn what’s possible in terms of ordering more as needed. It’s also a great time to check in with suppliers and vendors regarding payment terms to get ahead of any potential cash flow issues.

Hire seasonal employees

An increase in seasonal sales might mean your standard team is stretched thin. Seasonal employees can ease the burden placed on your staff members (and you) for these few months.

Plan ahead for seasonal positions and begin hiring people with a few weeks to go. This gives you ample time to train every new hire and get them up to speed before the seasonal rush really starts.

Launch marketing campaigns

All your holiday preparation means little if no customers come to shop! Let customers know about your holiday offerings and deals with a well-planned marketing campaign.

Digital marketing campaigns using search-engine optimization (SEO) should start a few weeks in advance. Build up your website and blog if you have them to land on more buyers’ search pages. As the season gets closer, try running ads on social media platforms like Facebook and sending email newsletters and/or direct mail to get local customers’ attention.

Get a cash injection

Even though the holiday season is likely to bring an influx of revenue, your cash flow might be tight in the weeks leading up to it. Ordering additional supplies and inventory, hiring new employees and launching marketing plans all require money in the short term.

If your small business’s cash flow leaves something to be desired, consider a pre-holiday cash injection. Opening an unsecured line of credit might give you the wiggle room you need to make it through the season. If your business requires more capital to really be prepared, consider a Rollover as Business Startup (ROBS). This tax-free, penalty-free funding method lets you use retirement funds to infuse your business with cash quickly using your pre-tax retirement fund(s) from a previous employer.

Is your small business prepared for the holiday season? If you need funding assistance, contact Tenet Financial Group. We help small businesses connect with resources like lines of credit or ROBS to access the funding they need. Reach out today to learn more.