Did you know that from October to February in South Africa, customers spend 30% more on each transaction? Or that businesses receive double the amount of new customers, both local and international? A large part of this swell is spent at small businesses, as they make up 42% of South Africa’s GDP. If you’re an entrepreneur with your own venture there is huge opportunity to capitalise on all the festivities.
With that in mind, we at Yoco thought we’d share some pointers to help you make the most of the busy times ahead.
1. Extra staff and training
Extra pairs of hands are always a lifesaver when things get a bit hectic. Whether it’s additional waiters, someone to help you wash clients’ hair in your salon or more staff to help with busier retail shifts, hiring extra people during season can really help keep things moving. Besides, you don’t want to keep customers waiting.
Check out sites like Indeed or go old school with the classic “help wanted” signs in your store. Students also look for extra work during the holidays, so advertise at universities and on university forums like Rent a Student.
Remember that new staff need to be trained, so make sure to budget some time to help get the newbies up to speed.
2. Extending your trading hours
Longer days and warmer weather means people are out and about for much longer. Keep in mind that these people need food, drink and entertainment from somewhere. Staying open later than usual lets you be “that guy”.
This applies especially to businesses in “hot spots” like beach fronts, city centres and malls. Don’t think it’s only for restaurants and bars – people are shopping for holiday gifts and getting ready for special occasions. Businesses in the retail and beauty sectors could also benefit from extending trading times (we’ve all had that last minute shopping panic where we suddenly remember we have to get a gift for our second cousin visiting from overseas).
3. Stock and suppliers
More customers spending more money means you’ll need additional stock to keep them happy. The last thing you want is to turn away a queue of people excited to buy your delicious homemade ice cream on a hot day.
Plan ahead to make sure you don’t have to turn away willing customers. Also bear in mind that some of your suppliers might be taking time off for the holidays so you might have to order in advance.
On the flip side, if your product is very season specific, you don’t want to be left with stock that’s difficult to sell once the busy period is over.
Insider tip: What are your best and worst selling products? How do you know which stock you should order more of? If you’re a #YocoFamily member, your Business Portal will tell you all you need to know. You’ll be able to track exactly how much you sold of each item, and see what sells well and what doesn’t. You can even compare this across different periods. Learn more in this article.
With loads more foot traffic you want to make sure that your store stands out and draws people in. Whether you go super Christmassy with tinsel and trees, or stick to summer themes with umbrellas and sunglasses, some clever decor can peak passer-by’s interest and imagination.
It doesn’t have to be big budget decor either. There are many simple things you can create with just a few scraps and lots of creativity. Pinterest is always a great space for inspiration.
5. Branch out with markets and events
Markets and pop up events become more frequent as the festive mood hits. If you’re a retailer, food or drink business this is a great opportunity to get a little bit more exposure and income.
If you’re a restaurant you could set up a food stall with highlights of your best dishes. A cool idea for beauty salons could be pop up manicure station in a mall or shopping centre. Remember to hand out business cards or flyers so people can find their way back to your business.
Make sure your customers can pay how they would like to. It’s heart wrenching to have gone through all the effort of creating your product and convincing a customer to buy, only to have them not able to pay you. Keep in mind that most people prefer not to carry cash so providing alternative options for payment will help guarantee you don’t lose any sales.
(We’ll let you in on a secret – customers spend 30% more when paying by card compared to cash).
Not to blow our own horn or anything, but if you’re looking to get set up to accept card payments this season, Yoco is a pretty good choice. You can sign up and start transacting within 4 days so you don’t miss out on anymore sales. You’ll also be able to accept cards at your restaurant, market stall, salon or even in the middle of a random field because Yoco card readers are completely mobile.
Interested? Find out more about how Yoco can help you get ready for season here.