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Your Checklist For A Successful Small Business Saturday

The busiest weekend of your year is about to start. Are you ready? Make sure you’re set up for success with this list of quick fixes. Everything from alarm checks to bounce back plans –here are 10 tips to prepare your staff, your patience, and prepare for an influx of customers this weekend. 

Small Business Saturday Tips from The Grommet Wholesale

Above: Elisabeth Rickenbaugh at the register of her shop Heyday. Learn more in our series of Main Street shops who stock The Grommet Wholesale.

1. Book your staff and you have on-call staff

This is not the time of year you want to be short-staffed. Have a plan in case someone decides to call in sick. Prepare for last minute hiccups and have staff members on-call.

2. Plan food and snacks to keep staff fueled

Order  delivery or organize a potluck over the holiday shopping weekend. Don’t leave it up to your staff to take care of themselves. When things get extra busy, there won’t be time to run out for a bite to eat. Have the food on hand for those necessary pit stops in between the crowds.

3. Have backup supplies in place

You’re likely to run out of something mission-critical at one point this weekend.  Take a moment now to gather extra register tape, manual credit card slips, staples and stapler, extra retail bags, pens, business cards, batteries, tissues, hand sanitizer, tweezers, and flashlights. A first aid kit is an obvious one –keep one at the front register, back of house, and manager’s office.

4. Get a bounceback program in place

Whether it’s a coupon, private shopping event, or a champagne toast to celebrate getting through the holidays successfully, get your customers back in store before January turns sales cold.

5. Have a spill kit

Cheerios dumped on floor, coffee spills, markers on the counter,  vomit ... be ready for it all. Have a spill kit ready to go with a broom, dustpan, mop, mop bucket filled with cleaner, magic eraser, paper towels, and Windex. That being said, might as well make sure you have enough toilet paper and paper towels for the bathroom.

6. Organize your backroom

Your staff should know where to find replen for the best selling items. Everything should be labeled and clean before Saturday. The better selling items closer to the back room entrance and in reach. Move up and back with the lesser selling products. Cleanup supplies are the only exception. Have your spill kit near the door.

7. Post the emergency numbers

Everything from power surges to theft, you want the numbers easy to locate for you and your staff to problem solve. The critical numbers to have posted by the employee time clock and front register are: Manager, ASM, cash handler, Loss Prevention Manager and/or local police, landlord, alarm company, contacts from shops on either side of your shop, ULine, and quick local food delivery. Have a full staff phone list available in the FOH and BOH as well.

8. Make flex merchandising plans

I hope this is your problem. I hope you sell through so much you are forced to remerchandise during the day. If you plan ahead, it will make this on the spot flex a lot easier. Pick what you think is going to fly off the shelf and identify what would make a good replacement. Share this plan with your staff so they can jump in when the displays start to look a little bare.

9. Run through an emergency test

Complete a full alarm test, key test, and make sure the dates on your fire extinguishers are  up to date and your staff knows how to use them (most people don’t so it’s worth buying one just for your team to try it out). You don't want to risk anything going wrong as the season heats up. Also, it’s a good idea to have a drop plan for your cash at the end of the night if you don’t have the bank come pick it up. Always go in groups, especially this weekend.

10. Have a social media action plan

Create some sort of program to use, especially if you’re throwing major traffic driving promotions, during the season. The more times people tweet, post to Instagram, and share what they found, or the experiences they have in your store, the more traffic you will see.

Best of luck with the upcoming weekend. It’s going to be great!

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