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Four ways to make the best of the post-holiday slowdown

1. Prepare your employees for after-Christmas returns

A spike in returns from people who didn’t like their gift can erode your mountain of profit down to a hill. However, recognize that a return is actually an opportunity to keep the sale by transitioning the customer to an exchange.

How? Train your employees about excellent customer service, which can make all of the difference. Helpful, knowledgeable workers can deftly perceive what the customer didn’t like about their gift and direct their attention to something else that your business sells instead of just issuing a refund. So make sure your employees are familiar with all of the products that your business offers, as well as your company’s return policies. Doing so will allow your SME to hold on to as many sales as possible.

2. Make a plan for the slowdown

Make no mistake: it’s coming. So keep ahead of the slow period that invariably follows the holidays with staffing changes that can help relieve financial pressure for your SME. The slowdown can also provide you with time to get a leg up on spring projects, which is just around the corner. So start thinking about what your SME can do to jump-start your business for the start of next year, and get cracking on it during the slow winter months.

3. Start your planning now for the next holiday rush

Continue to think ahead! Don’t wait until you’re already busy to plan for next year’s holiday months. Start building your marketing strategy now during the winter lull, as well as get any infrastructure in place. Have everything ready that you’ll need to hit the ground running for next year in order to make the most of the holiday boom to come.

4. Take the stress off with cash flow management

The business will slow, but your SME expenses will still be there. You’ll still have bills to pay and (unfortunately) unpaid invoices that rob you of needed capital to keep you going. A good cash flow management will keep you afloat.

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