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Be Prepared for the Holidays: A Checklist for Small Business Owners

The holidays come with a lot of duties for business owners. You want to make sure your store is decorated and looking festive, you need to prep for the holiday rush, hire seasonal staff, create a gift guide, update your marketing for the season, create promotional offers using PDFs, decide how to give back to the community, and lure last-minute shoppers. That may be a lot to think about, but don't worry, we can help. Here's a checklist of everything you need to do to make sure your small business is ready for the holiday season courtesy of the Golden Chamber of Commerce.

1. Create a Beautiful and Festive Storefront

The holidays are a great time to spruce up your storefront. Add some festive lights and garland, put up a holiday wreath, and maybe even some fake snow if you're feeling really festive. Fully Promoted notes that branding is important as much as making your store look inviting so that shoppers will want to come in and browse, so make sure your messaging or products are included.

2. Expect and Prep for Inventory Demand

The holidays are always a busy time for businesses, so you have to be prepared for increases in inventory demand. Make sure you have enough inventory on hand to meet the demand, stock up on supplies like bags and tissue paper, and train your staff on how to handle increased customer traffic.

3. Bring on Seasonal Staff

If you're going to be busy during the holidays, you might need some extra help. It’s always a good idea to hire seasonal employees to work during the peak times so that your regular staff can take a break. The Motley Fool suggests making sure to train them on what they need to know early on so that they can hit the ground running.

4. Create a Gift Guide

One way to help shoppers find the perfect gift is to create a gift guide. This can be either an online or print guide that showcases gifts for different people in different price ranges. This will take some of the guesswork out of shopping for gifts and make it more likely that shoppers will buy from you.

5. Update Your Marketing for the Season

Make sure your marketing reflects the holiday season. This means updating your website, social media accounts, and any other marketing materials with holiday-themed imagery and messaging. You can also run holiday-specific promotions or sales to drive traffic to your store.

6. Make Creative PDF Promotional Material

PDFs are a great way to create promotional offers that can be easily shared online or printed out and distributed in-store. By using a free document converter – whether your original files are in Word, PowerPoint, or even JPGs or TIFFs – you can use PDFs to create coupons, discount codes, or even just simple flyers advertising your holiday specials. Make sure all your materials are eye-catching and memorable.

7. Entice Procrastinating Shoppers with In-Store Promotions

There is always the potential to attract last-minute shoppers with in-store promotions. For example: offering incentives for shopping early, such as a chance to win a holiday ham or a free gift wrapping station. Whatever the promotion, it should be prominently displayed in the store so that shoppers are aware of it. By offering a compelling reason to shop in-store, businesses can entice last-minute holiday shoppers and boost their bottom line.

8. Find Ways to Give Back this Holiday Season

One of the best things about the holidays is giving back to those in need. If you're not already doing so, this is the perfect time of year to start giving back to your community through donations or volunteering your time. It's also a great way to get positive publicity for your business.


The holidays are a business whirlwind, there's no denying it. But by following this checklist, you'll be prepared for anything that comes your way this holiday season. From decorating your storefront and stocking up on supplies to creating promotional offers and giving back to the community, you can lead your business to a happy holiday.


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Greater Golden Chamber of Commerce