The peak season can be an exciting and rewarding time for business owners, with the promise of a drastic increase in sales. However, it can also be a stressful time that requires a lot of planning ahead, and possibly even some new hires to help manage the influx of customers.
In this article, we outline a few key tips for preparing adequately for the peak season to ensure you make the most of the busy period.
Promote, promote, promote
If it’s the busy season for you, chances are it’s the busy season for a range of other businesses in your industry as well. This means your competitors will be on the lookout for ways to stand out from the crowd — and so should you.
During this season, customers will flock to the company which has gathered the most attention in the lead up to the peak season. This means you should consider creating a marketing and promotional plan to begin driving traffic to your business far before the peak season begins to pick up.
For example, invest in sales material that will grab the customer’s attention. Any offers or promotions that will begin in the peak season should be advertised in the lead up to the peak season, which means not only signposting them in store but also through your online channels such as social media.
Use inventory software for forecasting
One of the keys to a successful peak season period is holding the right inventory stock at the right time. This means that in the lead-up to the beginning of the busy season, you should be using inventory software to track your sales history in order to identify the most popular items against the least popular. In doing so, when it comes to ordering inventory for the busy period, you will have a reliable idea about what it is your customers will be looking for when they visit your store or shop online.
With the promise of a wave of new customers coming in, it can be tempting to increase your expenditure drastically in the build-up to peak season by investing in expensive marketing campaigns and promotional material. While it certainly is wise to market yourself to your customers, you should consider how much you can afford to invest in these efforts before diving into it headfirst.
Come up with a budget plan for the peak season which accounts for all expenditure not only in the lead-up but also during it. This means accounting for any new temporary staff employed to handle the busy period, new merchandise for the store, and any extra amounts of stock that would not normally be required during off-peak season.
By calculating your expenses before and during the peak season, you can ensure you are not over-spending unnecessarily. Being careful with your finances during this time will also serve you well in the event that demand happens to be less than expected once the busy period finally arrives. If you are saddled with excess stock after peak season, consider these tips to get rid of excess inventory stock.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.