Whether you’re a storefront, e-commerce or service, the end of the year is hectic for every type of business. The year’s end is a strange time for businesses because everyone is trying to phase out older models while simultaneously trying to introduce new ones. There’s a lot of unknowns and lots of shifts, but the end of the year doesn’t mean you have to stress out completely. There’s a lot of things that can go awry in a short amount of time, but if you cover your bases and keep paying attention to details the end of the year can still be a productive time for any business.
Marketing strategies are done throughout the year, but the end of the year is a great time to go over what’s worked for your business branding and marketing over the course of the past twelve months and what hasn’t. With many companies oversaturating their advertising in December, take this month to develop your marketing strategies so you can go full-force in January when everyone else’s budget has already been blown.
Social Media Activity
It can be tricky to keep up with social media throughout the year let alone in busier seasons. However, with trends and practices in social media constantly changing, it’s in your best interest to keep up with them. This doesn’t necessarily mean writing a post every hour, but it can entail researching what other businesses are doing on their platforms that you may be able to utilize. It’s also a good time of year to try out automation software and mark your results.
Promos and Freebies
With many businesses offering end of year promos and discounts, it’s important for you to stand apart from your competitors. Offering comparable promotions is a smart idea, but up the ante by including freebies or making your promo a physical one. Custom die-cut stickers of logos make fantastic handouts as coupons because they can be made as exclusively limited run collectibles. Stickers and discounts are also useful to include in orders because they influence effective word-of-mouth or repeat business.
Check Your Inventory
The end of the year can mean you’re left with a lot of overstocks. Take the time to see which of your products you couldn’t move and consider how you could, or what you want to do with it (run an extra promotion for example?). Also, take an inventory stock of office and business supplies you’re left with. Consider what items you used a lot and were constantly running out of, and also how many you supplies you still have lots of. Even suppliers have an end of year promotions so now could be a good time to stock up and budget for things you need while keeping in mind the things you don’t.
Now’s a good time to consider upgrading or re-branding your employees. Maybe your logo has changed recently or you’re considering a new color scheme to brand yourself. This should be reflected in your employees. It can be something as elaborate as creating seasonal t-shirts, or simply upgrading to polystyrene name badges. Ensuring your staff looks cohesive and modern makes your business look cohesive as well.
Set New Goals
All businesses set goals for the year to come. Now is a good time to consider how you want your business to expand and grow in the new year. Writing out concrete goals allows for an easier transition into the new year and ensures everyone is on the same page. Don’t limit it to just financial gain, think about goals you’d like to implement to help everyone work better as a team, or what you’d like to do to help motivate staff. This gives everyone something to look forward too when they return from the holidays.
Reward Your Team
Everyone on your team works hard toward an initial goal. When everyone who works for you wants your business to succeed, it’s important to show them that you value their success as well. This doesn’t have to take the form of an elaborate holiday party or huge holiday bonuses (although I’m sure that wouldn’t help) but small acknowledgments can go a long way. Stock up your kitchen with holiday goodies, or hand out some extra promotional branded swag you may have, or products you had difficulty pushing. A little grain of acknowledgment is never unappreciated.
Update Your Team
If you’re already thinking about your team, it’s a good idea to analyze and keep it updated. Make sure everyone’s emails, phone numbers, and addresses are current. It’s also a good time to consider the roles your employees have. Maybe someone is better suited for another position you need filling, or maybe there’s room for growth in a department. It’s also a good time to consider if you would benefit from extra employees in some areas or need to hire someone for a position you didn’t think you’d need but do now.
Of course, the end of the year means giving to and helping others that are less fortunate. Maybe you’ve already donated money to a charity, or your business already works closely with charities, which is fantastic! Also consider setting up a place where employees can donate non-perishable foods, winter clothing items, or even toys. Charitable donations can also help your business financially as you can sometimes claim various tax deductions.
The holiday season can be a stressful time, but with a clear mindset and solid plan, your year-end checklist will be completed in no time.
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