How To Manage Your Home Business Over the Holidays

The holiday season is here! You feel it everywhere you go. For most people, it means end-of-year holiday parties and getting together with friends. Office parties and much needed time off. Shopping, planning, having fun…the annual mad rush to New Year’s Eve. For those running home businesses, it’s all that and MORE!

The holiday season is critical for many brick ‘n mortar businesses. For some, it means the bulk of the year's profits. And it’s serious business. Depending on what kind of home business you have, you need to plan and position your business for maximum cash intake and smooth operations. This isn’t the time for costly holiday hiccups!

Here’s a stocking full ‘o hot holiday business tips to get ready for the holiday spend fest.

  1. Prepare for the strain on your business infrastructure. Or… don’t let the surge of wild-eyed holiday shoppers reduce your operations to tears ‘n a whimper! Do you even know the elements that make up your business infrastructure? I love the way they talk in those great infomercials selling knives! You got your order processing. You got your fulfillment. You got your customer service help. You got your marketing. Yes, marketing. More on that later. Just make sure everything’s tuned up and on the ready line.
  2. Lots of home businesses outsource. And it’s a fabulous way to increase profits. But that’s another story. If you outsource anything at all, have you spoken with them about the holiday season? No? Get on the phone pronto and give ‘em a call. After wishing them the best holiday wishes, be sure to ask if they’re ready for Santa. Things like… availability during the holidays, do they have back-ups in place, when will they be closed… a biggie. Hey! Even outsourced help needs some time off. Find out what their holiday schedule will be. Stuff like that.
  3. If they’re having a Christmas party, and they’re close to you… invite yourself!
  4. Do you ecommerce, baby? Again, get on the horn and chat with your distributors and fulfillment. If you have holiday-related products, then talk to the right person about it. Are they ready? Do they have adequate inventory for the spending frenzy? Any existing back orders on hot holiday products? Find out now in case you need to adjust.
  5. Do you know your holiday product history? Like… from previous years? If you have returning product superstars, then make darn sure they’re in your country and ready to be shipped!
  6. And what about all those dangerous toys from China and who knows where else? Pretty much every parent with a TV remote has the scoop on that story. And it’s amazing because people adapt to changes. Have you checked your product offerings… twice? Get ‘em off if you got ‘em. Find out what products are nudging their way in to fill the void. It’s a serious issue on many fronts. Check it out so the kids are safe.
  7. Depending on where you live, the holidays mean winter weather. Winter weather means cold. Cold means people get sick. What’ll happen to your blistering business cash cow if YOU aren’t there ‘cause you’re under 5 blankies praying for a quick end to your misery? Hey, stuff happens. Be ready for cold ‘n flu casualties. Heck… start loading up on vitamin C or something.
  8. Managing your home business also means marketing your home business. You thought Santa’s elves were gonna do it? Wake up, the dream’s over!
  9. Do you have your holiday marketing plans in place? Ok… I’m feeling generous ‘cause it’s party time. Here are a few ideas for you…
    • The holidays are the one time when every insane shopper comes outta the woodwork. I mean, all kinds of people with all kinds of budgets. Normally it’s not a good idea to try to please everyone. But the holidays are a little different.
    • Try to create some product ideas or services for every kind of budget. You can group and advertise products in specific price ranges, for example. Offer holiday package deals. You can customize them for any price range. And…
    • Package deals remove the brain from the process! I know, it’s awful. But it’s true and plastic-wielding samurai shoppers LOVE IT! Package and bundle related and relevant products together. Simple and profitable.
    • You can offer volume discounts to encourage more spending. For example, holiday specials with 25% off for orders over $75 or $100. Scale it up for higher prices. Give ‘em a great reason to spend on multiple products or packages. Chances are, they will!

 

Happy holidays!

 

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Comments

Dec
8

Great tips, Dan, including a few necessary things I hadn't considered. How about another article on a similar topic, managing personal overload at home during the holidays while still running your home office?

By Riley Klein