Dashing Through the Holiday Pre-Planning

You’ve completed your business mid-year review ­– you’ve evaluated, refocused and engaged; what’s next? By now, your business has likely made some major changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. From online sales and curbside pickup to socially distant customer experiences, there are many examples of how businesses in our communities have pivoted their traditional models of operation to adapt. As we advance through summer with some new business practices, it’s important to consider: what does this mean for the holiday season?

Previously we’ve provided resources for long-term success while preparing for what is considered by many to be one of the busiest times of the year; though, the business environment of 2020 varies widely from previous years. According to a Voxware survey conducted in June, as many as 51 percent of respondents expect to begin holiday shopping earlier than normal this year, and 76 percent of respondents intend to purchase more than half of their gifts online. These early projections from consumers further indicate the need to adjust to the current conditions of our business environment.

Even more immediate is Black Friday, and large retailers are already indicating a push for online shopping. This may be less of a challenge for large businesses with stronger market recognition, but what does this mean for small businesses?

Now is the perfect time to consider the approaching season and prepare accordingly. Oklahoma businesses have shown great resilience and determination when faced with today’s challenges, and the creativity of business owners and consumers alike has eased the process of growing into digital and distanced commerce.

What you can do right now

Take this time to contemplate the upcoming season and what it means for your business. Can you expect a higher volume of customers? What does this mean for your employees or your hiring process? Now is the time to consider the usual hiring conditions of the holidays and compare. Check out these tips for hiring holiday help.

Consider using this time to grow your company’s ecommerce abilities. Online shopping is a great way for local businesses to be widely available to more customers, and businesses that traditionally run in-store sales should be thinking about ways that their products and services can be purchased online. If you already have a website or strong social media presence, taking the next step to have an online store may be the right move to grow your company. Here are some tips to help your business build an online store.

Another option many businesses are opting for is curbside pickup. This may be something to consider for your business if your products or services can be distributed from a distance, and customers can make their purchases over the phone or online. Monitoring the practices of other small businesses and how they handle curbside pickup can also be a great reference for your own business.

We here at BBB® Serving Central Oklahoma would like to help your business make a plan now; check out our events calendar for our upcoming speaking and networking events, and regularly check our Blog section of BuildWithBBB for more tips and resources for businesses and consumers.