Whilst festivities and extra sales are obviously a good thing during the Christmas period, copious stress isn’t. 53% of customers have begun or will soon begin to shop in earnest for food and gifts, so now is the time to put a plan in place for your small business. Square’s tools provide everything you need to stay on top of the extra demand.
Take an analytical approach
Data generated by Square Analytics can be used to find out which items sold well last year during these final months. Once you’ve worked out how much your business has grown since, you’ll be able to order inventory as needed.
You can also look at which days and times were your busiest last Q4, and use that information to plan your holiday hours and rota staff so that you have enough support.
Rota your best staff on
It’s more effective to work with employees who know the ropes than it is to start from scratch. Square Team Management reveals how your staff have performed historically, allowing you to retain the ones who consistently make a sale and provide great customer service. And for the loyal individuals who need a little more support, the same insight enables you to plan some training before things get too busy.
If you need to build your Christmas team from scratch, here are our tips on finding the best people.
Offer digital as well as physical gifts
With friends and relatives living further away from one another, sending actual gifts can be inconvenient or simply impossible with the unreliability of Christmas post. Offering Square eGift Cards helps you reach an audience far beyond your local area, whilst providing the choice and convenience customers want.
Read about boosting sales with digital gift cards here.
Spread resource effectively across different locations
With Square Location Management, owners of takeaways or other delivery services can organise their driver fleet in a few clicks according to where demand is highest. You can also assign new roles for in-store staff to keep up with demand. Know when you’re running out of stock in one location so that you can top-up from another that’s less busy.
Get ready to accept all forms of payment
Make sure you never miss out on a sale by having a range of payment options available for your customers:
- Square Reader enables you to take payments away from the counter, out on the shop floor, on the street or down at your local Christmas market.
- Square Stand transforms your iPad into a sleek and secure point-of-sale, helping customers spot you straight away in a busy store.
- Square Invoices gives customers the option to pay for higher value items at a later date.
- Square Virtual Terminal turns your computer or laptop into a card machine, meaning you can key-in customers’ card details to take payments remotely.
Set yourself up to get paid faster
During the Christmas rush, there’s no time to lose when it comes to getting paid. Faster payments mean you can re-invest in stock or extra marketing without waiting around. Square offers next-business-day transfers as standard, but when you need even faster cash flow, instant transfer gives you access to funds in as little as 20 minutes (subject to your bank’s availability schedule).
The Christmas rush is coming into full swing, and with some careful planning it doesn’t have to be a period of stress. With Square’s tools and some basic planning, you can enjoy this time of year as it should be.