While it might feel summer is just beginning, now might just be the time to start planning for the holiday rush. You’ve probably seen the videos of shoppers rushing into stores on Black Friday in a mad dash to get the best deals on clothes, electronics and toys. Some people even make a sport out of finding the best prices. While we’re sure you’d like those enthusiastic customers rushing into your store during the holiday months, you also don’t want to feel like those frenzied customers while you prepare for the busiest shopping season of the year.
As you begin to strategize for the fall, you should learn how to avoid the retailers’ rush and create a solid plan that will move you fluidly through the summer and into the energetic autumn shopping season. In order to capitalize on the holiday rush, rather than be caught up in it, consider these tips: Keep reading for tips on how to create a strategy for planning a season ahead.
1. Write out your plan
A great way to get organized is to write out every aspect you will have to plan for, such as inventory, marketing, visual displays, employee training and schedules. At this point, the plan doesn’t have to be comprehensive, but it will provide a launching point for the rest of your preparations. If you’re a visual person, it may help to create a mindmap or even use a Pinterest board to organize your thoughts. According to Surplus Today Online, the holiday shopping season starts around the end of October and really gets into full swing around Thanksgiving. Pick a date around that time for a deadline, and plan your schedule backwards from there.
2. Balance the current season with the next
As you prepare for the holiday season, you’ll still need to give your attention to the summer sales. Owners of small boutiques have a lot to think about at once, which makes finding balance all the more important. At this early point in the season, try setting aside one hour at the end of the day that’s dedicated to planning ahead. Use this hour to make to-do lists, research products and develop your strategy. Over the course of month, you’ll develop a great plan!
Check out our 2016 catalog for visual display ideas. You can order products with just a few clicks, so you won’t need to rush when the weather starts to cool off. Whether you need new hanging paper decorations, displays lights or even gift packaging, you can get it delivered now so it’s ready and waiting for those autumn displays.
3. Budget for marketing
An important part of creating your plan will be the budget. Not only will you need to design new displays and decorations, but you’ll need to decide on how much you want to spend on marketing. This will partly depend on your summer revenue. Specialty Store Services recommended making use of free avenues such as email lists and social media accounts as much as possible. These can have a real, positive effect, without breaking the bank. From there, you can move on to paid advertising, both online and in traditional media.
Keeping one season ahead can be difficult, but with the right plan, you can expect great results. Our experts are always here to answer any questions you have about displaying merchandise, so give us a call today!