Good records are the keys to successful holiday planning
No matter what size your business is, the key to the success in the future are the records you keep today. The first step is the hardest but with each year it will get better with continuous improvement.
Holidays should be looked forward to… Not looked back at.
There is no time like the present! Don’t wait too long after the holiday to start making notes about it. In fact, having a clipboard handy to write down issues or successes in the moment will help get a head start on documenting your holiday. Following each holiday, it is very important to keep notes beyond your POS system. The rest of the story is beyond the numbers sold. It is easy to remember what did not go well, but I would encourage you to document the processes that did go well also so you remember to repeat them the next year.
If you had some issues, document them and add a solution you would implement the next year to improve the situation. Collaborating with your team will help open up solutions that you can add to your future processes.
Here are some questions to reflect upon
- Was staffing correct?
- How did your space work? Is there a need for more tables or a need to create a cooler out of an office?
- What weather factors happened and how did they affect sales?
- What day of the week did the holiday fall?
- What items sold out early on your website, how many more could you have sold? What item did you move into that price point when you took it off the website? This item would have over inflated numbers because of a push.
- Have you seen inspiration for potential design features you would like to use to create your own version of on social media? Take a screen shot and put in file for next year.
- Did your designers make a cool one-of-a-kind design that could be used as a feature in the future? Take a photo for reference.
- Were there any product shortages or overages?
- Document the social campaign you used; did you see any from other sources that inspired you?
- Were the promotions successful? What would you change?
Think about your recommendations for the next year.
- Feature line up.
- Potential recipes. Helpful hint: sometimes the best time to create new items is in the same season following a holiday. This way you will have access to seasonal flowers for the most accurate representation of your product.
- Set a timeline for preparation and put appointments on your calendar.
- Three months before – check your hard good supply and read the notes from the previous year.
- Two months before – take advantage of pre-book offers from wholesale partners. These could be programed in as yearly reoccurring reminders.
Continue to refine your records each year and look forward to a more successful and profitable future. Working with calendar reminders will keep you on track and eliminate the stress holiday planning can cause.
Author: Sandy Schroeck AIFD, PFCI, CFD