The holiday sales season is a golden opportunity for businesses. But December busyness does not always convert to increased sales or positive cash flow. Here are three tips to boost your sales this holiday season to improve cash flow:
- Improve customer service.
- Increase sales value.
- Plan for the worst in advance.
Improve customer service.
Customer service, not discounts, is the key to boost sales during the holiday season. This sale season pressure businesses into joining the bandwagon of offering discounts. Businesses target volume and market share, instead of profitability. Smart Company warned that sales are good, but sales at discount can cause negative cash flow.
Customer service should be your top priority whether you are operating a brick-and-mortar shop or an online shop. Excellent customer service should also be consistent all year. Although customer service is more valuable, this holiday season because customers will juggle with many other things to do. Your excellent customer service will help them make good decisions at the fastest time possible. Improving your customer service will result to repeat and loyal customers.
Increase sales value.
Excellent customer service translates to sales. But this holiday season, make it a goal to increase your sales value by upselling. Make your customers buy a more expensive, upgraded or premium version of their chosen item. Or make them buy add-ons to make a larger sale.
Improve your marketing strategy by offering customised shopping experience. Know your buyer’s persona — who are they, what age are they? Use these data to prepare for your customers’ needs. Offer those needs for sale. Think of services that are of no cost to you but add value to your customers’ shopping experience. Examples are loyalty discount cards, product recommendations, and VIP experiences. Connect your customer with your brand. Always make your customers feel good in every stage of their buyer’s journey.
Plan for worst in advance.
The holiday season is an exciting time for businesses and the worst. December has shorter trading days, which means a lesser number of days for you to make sales. Your administrative and operating costs, however, remain the same. Checks also do not come in until the end of January or early February, causing cash flow crunch.
You cannot prepare for some things, like bushfires. But you can prepare for all other parts of your operations before the onslaught of the holiday season. To keep a consistent positive cash flow, be on top of your invoicing despite the hectic holiday schedule. Delayed invoicing results in delayed payment. Make a realistic forecast of your sales, expenditures, and cash flow. Further, delay unnecessary spending until after payment from the holiday sales come in.
You have a thousand ways to cash in on the holidays. It is a rich opportunity for businesses to boost sales. But you also have a thousand ways to pass upon your chance to increase cash flow. Remember the three tips: improve your customer service, increase your sales value, and plan for the worst in advance. Apply them this holiday season, or better, all year, to boost sales and convert those sales into positive cash flow. Otherwise, when poorly managed, cash flow can cause business failures.
Liam White joined the Slater Byrne Recoveries team in early 2013. He has worked across the credit & dispute resolution industry for a number of years. He is currently working in a Marketing/Head of Sales capacity at Slater Byrne Recoveries.