Position your business for a profitable festive season

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In order to build up cash reserves for the year ahead during the holiday season, entrepreneurs need to go into the next month with a clear plan.

After a year characterised by low growth, rising petrol prices, a drought in parts of the country and a negatively-adjusted rating in investment grades, business owners face a strained consumer. While consumer spending will not go away, people will most likely spend in a more conscious way. As a result, SMEs will have to “box smart” to stay ahead. Here are some tips on getting this right:

Have a clear strategy ahead of the festive season  Ensure your stock levels are considered, placed in advance and arrange adequate storage capacity. Suppliers may also close for the season so a clear plan will ensure that you maintain correct stock levels.

Make use of communications platforms to let consumers know your season specials –SMEs do not have to spend an arm and leg to reach the consumer. You can make effective use of social media platforms to reach consumers with your specials for the season. This not only allows a cost-effective form of communication, it also enables a two-way conversation where the SME is able to receive feedback from consumers on what they think of the specials.

Keep your outlet open longer – Many consumers are on leave; they will therefore be spending longer hours in stores. Being open for longer extends the possibility of a higher footfall into your store this season.

 You must have an online presence  More and more consumers search for offers online, they do product comparisons, endorsements and even purchase online. To not be available online in the digital age is to impede on the extent of possible sales.

SMEs must remember that the competition for a share of consumers’ spending power intensifies in tough times. Businesses that have prepared long in advance are bound to win in the festive season. Good luck!

Author bio: Mags Ponnan is the Head of Customer Value Propositions at FNB Business.

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