16 Questions to Use to Prepare for Small Business Season Success
Do you find yourself wondering how you’re going to compete with larger, national stores with big marketing budgets and attractive loss leaders that bring in a crowd? How will you capture the attention of local shoppers, dinner, or service users? Well, we’re here to equip you with a set of insightful questions to ask yourself, your employees, and your customers for big returns this holiday. By embracing these questions, you will not only position your business for the holiday rush (and revenue!) but also foster a stronger connection with your local audience.
Self-Reflection Questions for Small Business Owners (That’s you!)
What unique holiday offerings can my business provide? How am I helping? Is it a direct way like providing the perfect gift or an indirect way like cleaning the house to make way for family? Use that angle to get right to how you’re solving your customer’s problems or needs.
How can I enhance the shopping experience for customers during the holidays? The longer they stay (in-person or online), the more they will buy.
Am I effectively leveraging social media and other marketing channels to promote my seasonal promotions? Yes, you do have enough time in the day! Schedule posts while watching TV. Have fun with them. Do some video. Post your specials/sales/hot deals on the Cushing Chamber Website Hot Deals page, by logging into your Info Hub account. This helps the Cushing Chamber to be able to share your Hot Deals on their Member E-Blast and on their social media pages.
Employee Engagement Questions (You need loyal employees during the maddening holidays)
How can we streamline our processes to handle increased holiday traffic?
Are my current employees already burned out?
What training or support do employees need to provide exceptional customer service during peak times?
Are there creative ways to boost team morale and motivation during the busy holiday season?
What products or services are our customers most interested in during the holidays?
How can we gather feedback from customers to improve their shopping experience? Traditional surveys are becoming tiresome. Do something creative.
Are there loyalty programs or exclusive deals we can offer to show appreciation for our customers' support?
Community Engagement Questions
How can we collaborate with other local businesses and the Cushing Chamber to create a festive atmosphere in the community?
The chamber can help match you with a solid partner, as well as help you get involved with their Christmas Shop Local Cushing Initiatives Campaign. They are hosting a Christmas $1,000 Cash Giveaway; A Christmas Market in the Broadway District on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 25 (Broadway District Businesses should be ALL OVER THIS!); and the Cushing Chamber Annual Christmas Parade in the Broadway District on Dec. 9 at 6 pm. All of these events helps your business with Brand Exposure and shows that you and your staff are apart of the Community, an active business participating in Community Events. This goes a long way with the public giving them a positive view of your business.
Are there charity partnerships or local events we can participate in to give back during the holiday season?
Love INC. is hosting their "Love In The Name of Christmas" program again this year and need businesses to be Drop-off locations for their Toy Drive; sign up today to be a drop-off location. Other local Payne County nonprofits are hosting their Fundraising Campaigns at this time; there is no better time to give and give generously than at Christmas Time!
In what ways can we showcase the unique aspects of our community through our business?
Again, the Cushing Chamber is hosting some very unique events to help engage the community with the local business community; give them a call to find out how your business can get involved.
How can we adjust inventory and company procedures to meet increased demand?
Are there flexible payment options or gift card promotions that can attract more customers?
Many businesses give a bonus $10 gift card when you buy $100. This is a nice bonus for them and often means more money for you. Especially because 61% of consumers spend more than a gift card's value when redeeming (on average $31.75 more than the card's value).
What strategies do we have in place for online sales and curbside pickup to accommodate different shopping preferences?
As nice as it is to enjoy the lights and holiday merriment, some people would rather avoid crowds and the difficulty behind trying to find a parking space.
In the spirit of Small Business Season, let these questions serve as a compass for navigating the upcoming holiday rush. By proactively addressing these aspects of your business, you not only set the stage for a successful season but also contribute to the vibrant tapestry of your local community.
Christina Metcalf is a writer/ghostwriter who believes in the power of story. She works with small businesses, chambers of commerce, and business professionals who want to make an impression and grow a loyal customer/member base. She loves road trips, hates exclamation points, and already has her Christmas tree up.