How to Ensure Your Retail Business Survives and Thrives This Holiday Season

Ready for the rush? It’s full steam ahead toward the holidays and running a retail business puts you at the frontlines of the madness. Keep calm and keep hitting your sales targets with these tips:

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Cross-train your staff.

If you’re worried about key employees being out at the same time, prepare for unusual scheduling situations by training your staff in more than one role. That way, you’re on top of things if you need a last-minute sub. And make sure you have new staff training in place, especially if you’re hiring seasonal employees. Create a manual or designate more experienced staffers to run training sessions and standardize the process for new hires. This is especially helpful during the hectic holiday season, but useful for your business year-round.

Plan your inventory.

Which items flew off the shelves last holiday season? Turn to your Square Analytics, which can tell you what you sold the most of last year, and when. As you’re stocking up on inventory, double-down on those popular items so you can maximize sales. And if you haven’t already, turn on inventory alerts, which notify you when popular items are running low in real time so you can quickly order more. You can also hook up your Square account to a variety of tools in Square App Marketplace to help streamline your inventory management.

Clean up the items in your Register.

You want to make it quick and easy for your staff to ring people up during your busy times. So now’s the time to make sure that everything is as simple as possible in your item library. Sit down and go through all your items, deleting ones that you no longer offer. It’s also a great opportunity to add in photos for all the items you have on tap.

Stock up on Square Readers.

A line out the door is always a good thing. But to avoid impatient customers, prepare for a rush by adding a way to speed up the checkout process. Many businesses have found success with ordering multiple Square Readers for their busy season. That way, you can dispatch your employees to take payments straight from the line.