The holiday season is all about traditions – food, fun and family. And don’t forget the shopping!
This time-honored holiday hobby costs the average shopper about $738 on gifts and seasonal items, according to the National Retail Federation.1 The NRF reports that for some retailers, the holiday season can represent as much as 20 to 40 percent of annual sales.
And that translates to busy times – also known as peak season – for many businesses. If you’re a business owner, you may be looking for ways to protect your investment and be prepared for the hectic holiday season.
These 5 tips can help you be prepared when the doors open and the crowds flood in.
- Get covered with peak season insurance.
Your busiest time of the year is a time when your business faces increased risk and liability. Special “peak season” coverage can increase the amount of insurance protection you have during specific time periods. It can help offset any unexpected losses experienced during these times, and give you peace of mind during a time when life may seem a little chaotic.
- Provide a safe shopping experience.
The last thing you want to happen is for a customer or employee to be injured on your property. If a spill occurs, clean it up quickly. Keep the aisles and walkways clear of obstructions, and stash all cords up and away from public areas. If the weather is wet or icy, use rugs so people can dry their feet before roaming your store. Make sure displays and shelves are secure.
- Have an inventory back-up plan.
More shoppers mean more demand. Have a backup plan for your stock, including standby suppliers and secondary options – such as discounts and rain checks – for customers who want what you might not have on hand.
- Boost your staffing.
Your inventory’s up, and so is the number of customers visiting your business. Adding seasonal employees will help you keep things on track and protect your bottom line. Making sure your new staff members are well trained before shoppers arrive is key. You may also consider increasing security for the holiday season to help thwart shoplifters and identity thieves. As you review your business liability coverage, ask your insurance agent about the impact of hiring seasonal help.
- Control access and visibility.
This is where security comes in. Always know where your customers are and how they can come and go from your business. Restrict access to “employee-only” areas such as storerooms and cash registers. Avoid handling large sums of money when customers are in the store. Engage with customers and require employees to be out on the showroom floor to monitor activity. Having added seasonal staff helps ensure your store is safe during busy shopping times.