For some Kiwi businesses the holiday season is a time to wind down and plan for the year ahead, but for many the summer season is when business peaks. Longer days, warmer weather, public holidays and festive promotions mean more customers and more demand for your business.
How to prepare your business
As a small business it is crucial to have strategies in place to maximise the increase in sales volume. Being prepared for an increase in foot traffic will help your operations and payments run smoothly.
In this blog post, we will be sharing some pointers on how small businesses can prepare themselves for the busiest time of year, whenever that is, and efficiently maximise trade. Check out our tips on:
1. Making the most of your payment solution
To ensure you and your employees handle the increase in payment transactions smoothly, take time to sit down and assess your payment solution to see if you’ve got the essentials covered.
- Additional EFTPOS machines – Are you expecting an increase in seasonal foot-traffic? Running any in-store sales or promotions? Signed up for an offsite event or market? You might want to consider an additional EFTPOS terminal to continue taking payments smoothly. Smartpay offers Short term and Seasonal rental solutions that work perfectly for hiring EFTPOS for a short period of time to manage the temporary increase in customers and sales.
- Accepting different payment methods – The ideal payment setup allows customers to quickly pay with a variety of options so you never miss a sale! This includes credit cards, contactless cards and mobile payment solutions like Apple Wallet or Google Pay to quicken checkout and shorten queues.
- Other EFTPOS features & value-adds – Have you considered adding EFTPOS features to your payment terminal? With options like POS integrations and industry-specific payment features like pre-auth and tipping, you can enhance the way you collect payments from customers. Check out our entire range of EFTPOS features and value-added services.
2. Taking advantage of marketing opportunities
Summer sales and promotional offers are a great way to draw in customers. You could offer Christmas specials on certain products or services or even host in-store events such as sale days.
Remember to promote these on digital platforms to spread the word about your business. Update your social media profiles and Google My Business listing so you have platforms to post engaging content about your business. Social media marketing is great way to reach new customers. Post about new products, specials and events regularly using your business page on chosen platforms.
3. Ensuring stock availability
With the increase in customers, businesses should prepare early and make sure they have enough stock levels to cover demand. Getting your stock levels right during the holiday season can be tricky but looking at past sales records can help you predict and plan.
Supply chain issues and lengthy delivery times especially for imported goods could likely be some of the issues affecting the holiday shopping season this year. As a business, continuing to restock as soon as your products arrive and immediately contacting any customers on a waitlist should help ease some stresses.
Try to rearrange stock to keep shelves looking full, communicate with consumers around timelines for item deliveries and ensure staff recommend similar substitutes if an item is sold out or delayed.
4. Training and preparing staff
It is important to train staff in the lead-up to the busy season on any new products, processes or technical systems. Ensure any newly hired staff members have polished their customer service skills, ready to deal with the expected influx of customers.
During the busy season, payments also tend to increase with the number of customers. While this means more money coming into your business, it also means higher demands placed on your checkout counter and processes. Hiring some additional casual staff over the peak shopping season may help alleviate any queues and abandoned sales.
To make sure your employees are well prepared and set up for success; hold meetings during quiet times, or outside of opening hours, to go over any concerns you or the team may have. Provide tools and techniques to help them work well as a team.
Take special care training them on your EFTPOS and Point of Sale system (POS); for example, teach them simple troubleshooting tips like performing a restart and log-on. Don’t forget to cover transactions which come up less frequently, like refunds and split payments, to ensure the store continues running as smoothly as possible, even during the busiest of times.
5. Enjoying the busy season
While the busy season may be hectic, it can also be enjoyable. Customers want to spend money on your goods and services and make the most of in-store shopping and festivities, ultimately supporting your business.
This represents an excellent opportunity for your small business to make the most of the busy season rush and close off the year with solid sales.
With imminent delays being advised by banks for setting up merchant services and couriers for their deliveries, we do suggest merchants wanting to get additional terminals in the busy period to get in touch with us as soon as possible to avoid any hold-ups.
We wish Kiwi business owners the very best for this holiday season and making the most of festive opportunities.