While consumers and social media-savvy individuals are setting their sights on the latest fashion trends and consumer gadgets that are hyped for the season, pro-active retailers and business owners are looking forward to the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays may be weeks away, but in a highly competitive environment, planning is everything. If planning is not normally part of organizational procedures, then now is the right time to start the preparations for the holiday rush.

Network and connect with potential customers

Don’t just wait for customers to enter your store and check out the latest offerings for sale. This is the best time to remind past customers and those who are still undecided to check the store offerings, and to check the announcements through traditional forums and social media. Cross promotions can also work in boosting sales and enhancing linkages with similar or even complementary businesses in the area. For example, if you are offering cakes and pastries, consider working with event organizers and seminar facilitators who can cook up a mutually beneficial business arrangement.

Maximize staffing resources

There must be someone or a few store personnel that have served the business to stellar results. Through the use of Point of Sale (POS) systems, you can track and research on past sales performances of the retail store employees. With this information, you can now identify employees who can effectively man the retail stores front and center during peak season or when there’s a spike in demand. And since the peak season is a time for a spike in the number of customers and visitors, you may want to hire extra hands that can cover the retail floor. But be careful when hiring additional sales employees that will do the work on your store. Look for potential employees that know your store or have previously visited your store or have purchased something from the store. These types of individuals will not just sell goods- they will help promote brand.

Add additional POS terminals

Aside from additional staffing, a retail store can also brace for increase in foot traffic by adding cash registers and POS terminals strategically scattered around the retail store. These extra terminals can work during peak hours and facilitate the check-out process in different departments. The presence of additional terminals provide convenience to both parties- customers no longer need to worry about longer lines and waiting time and retailers benefit from increased customer engagement.

These three basic preparations can strategically position retailers in time for the holiday rush, and help retailers use the season to their advantage.