Are there certain periods of the year when your business is busier than others? If your business offers seasonal items, then the time before and during the holidays is more hectic for you. This is where the rubber meets the road for some small businesses. Will you be able to handle your busy season? Here are five tips to get you started off on the right foot.
1. Plan well. This actually is the crux of everything. Anticipation is the difference between being able to fill large orders and angry clients who don’t get their product. Looking at the business several months in advance of potential busy periods prepares the business to handle an influx of customers.
2. Consider hiring more support. When things get busy, having a few more people to help with the load will ease your mind. If yours is an online business, put out advertisements on business forums and freelance websites to advertise the need. Talk with other business associates who have used freelancers before to get a lead on where to start.
3. Partner with others to get the job done. Sometimes, we can’t do it all alone. This is especially true if you are marketing a product such as toys or seasonal products. Partner with a wholesale distributor to ensure that you have enough merchandise for the season. If the order is large enough, your distributor may be willing to dropship the items to your clients.
4. Don’t get in over your head. This is important to remember. You may have to deal with the realization that there are more clients out there than you can handle at one time. Some may have to be turned away. With your business doing well, you won’t suffer if you have to stop taking orders because of logistical issues. Which is worse: turning away clients you can’t handle or accepting clients whose orders you can’t hope to fill on time? What would the second option say about your business reputation?
5. Keep the lines of communication open with your clients. When business gets hectic, it is quite natural to see only the dollar signs. The business is doing well, yes, but it is all possible because of your clients. Poor customer service has ruined more business relationships. No one wants to be pushed to the back burner when they have concerns. Take the time to address the needs of your customers. If an order will be delayed, communicate that as soon as possible. They understand that you are busy and they will stick with you as long as they are not ignored.
Running a successful business is not easy. It requires dedication, long hours, and a good head on your shoulders. Preparation equals being ready to handle the rush later on.