The holidays are coming up fast. If you sell a product, chances are you’ve been preparing for the holidays for quite a while already by securing inventory and lining up extra help with customer service and fulfillment. While you may have a sales goal in mind, one thing you might not have done in all the excitement in preparing for the future is take the time to sit down and look at sales from the past. Pulling holiday financials from the past can allow you to spot trends, set realistic-yet-ambitious goals, and help make this holiday more successful than ever.
Compare Years Past Did your business do exceptionally well one holiday season? Think back to what you did differently that year. Did you soup up your AdWords campaign or write a popular press release about your hot new product? Use the lessons from that year to rev up your strategy this year! Take a Hard Look at the Holiday Months Next have a look at your sales month to month. You may be surprised to learn that your shoppers are early birds who seem to buy from you most at the end of October. Or, as online seller Danni Ackerman has said, many people are shopping post-holidays in January using gift cards or Christmas cash – or even exchanging gifts they didn’t like for ones they do! Find out which months your holiday sales spikes occur so you can plan accordingly.
Pull a Week-by-Week Report Going over your best years and months gives you a great big picture overview of your business, but you’ll also want to look a lot closer – as in which weeks were your best. This will allow you to focus in on when you really need to be ready to ramp up. For example, instead of hiring temporary help for all of November and the first half of December and having them sit around during sales lulls, you may only need to hire them during your busiest weeks. You’ve Gathered Your Financial Info. Now What? Now that you’ve gathered info from the past it’s time to predict the future. Set a sales or profit goal that you want to meet and get out there and get ready to sell, sell, sell! Of course, you can do a lot more with your financial info from holidays past, even on a limited budget.
If you notice one week seems to be your busiest each year, perhaps ramp up your online advertising that week that capitalize on even more sales. You may also be able to order inventory earlier or later in order to fulfill more easily while using up less of your storage space. Any info you can use to make your business leaner and meaner will also help it get greener (as in greenbacks!) this holiday season.
Good luck and happy selling!