Spring has just begun, but Christmas is right around the corner. Now’s the time to get ready for the busiest time of the year. Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Start planning your sales
What promotions are you planning for spring and summer? Take stock of your environment, the competition, and the trends that may drive your customers’ spending habits. Then create a realistic sales budget. Can you bring on additional salespeople or more efficient technology to reduce costs? Either strategy might allow you to stretch your target numbers a little further.
2. Tidy up your books
No one wants to spend the whole weekend with their nose in the numbers. If keeping track of your books is feeling like a nightmare (and keeping you inside on warm spring days), it may be time to change your approach. Try streamlining your back-end bookkeeping using cloud-based accounting software like Xero, which is easy to connect to your Square account. Before you know it, your accounts will be organised and your weekends will be yours again.
3. Know your data
Square Dashboard provides a wealth of data on things like which products are selling best and which days and times are the busiest. These insights can help you make responsive changes and grow your business when and how it makes sense. Spend the time to get familiar with your data and it will help you run things as efficiently as possible. Here are some pro data tips.
4. Get the numbers on the go
Now that the weather is nice, you’ll want to be able to access important data from anywhere. Download the Square Dashboard app, a free tool (available in App Store) that gives you a real-time view of how your business is performing — right on your iPhone.
5. Review your roster
Sometimes managing your team can feel like a game of Tetris — if you’re not fast or efficient enough, expenses start to stack up. Review your historical sales information by day, week, and month to help get an accurate sense of how many people to have on hand and when. You might also want to compare sales performance data across the last few years. This will help you figure out when to staff up for busy times and down for lulls — saving you time and money.
6. Start planning for Christmas now
Australian businesses start promoting Christmas shopping earlier every year — and for good reason. This is the time of year when consumers are most willing to spend money, so make sure you take advantage of this opportunity. How can you best tailor your business toward giving? Are you planning to offer a special promotion or sale? Think about what worked well about your mid-year promotions and start planning your end-of-year offerings in advance.
7. Spring is about the environment
Go paperless — the environment will thank you. Start by reducing the number of receipts you print. Square’s email and SMS receipt feature not only helps reduce your paper usage, but it also allows your customers to send feedback about your business directly to your Dashboard.
8. Clean out your inbox
We all know that a cluttered inbox can slow you down. So why not invest a few hours going through your outstanding emails, filing the ones that matter, and making sure that you don’t delete important customer contacts or enquiries? While you’re at it, brush up on the best ways to get the results you want when emailing your customers.
9. Get busy on social media
Marketing your business to potential customers doesn’t have to be expensive. Set yourself up with accounts on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook and start building an audience. By the time your busy Christmas rush begins, you might have amassed a sizeable following. Here are our tips for using Instagram.
10. Do some actual cleaning
It wouldn’t be spring cleaning without a little elbow grease. And who doesn’t like a clean workplace? Consider setting up a time for the team to tidy up the office; a few casual drinks might help make it easier.
These simple tips should help get you ready for the busy season ahead. With a clean office, an empty inbox, and a plan for the holidays, you should have more time to focus on growing and enjoying your small business.