Preparing for the holiday part IV: Upgrading your workplace.

Jan 03 2019 | Contributing writer Gene Marks, small business expert, CPA, and PayPal ambassador

Money. Technology. Marketing. It’s all important for ensuring holiday success. But let’s agree that nothing’s going to get done unless you’ve got the people to do it. Here are a few ideas to find and motivate good people during the holidays.
Determine resources needed.
Determine the people necessary for your holiday period - part-timers, full-timers, contractors. Consider hiring lower-cost talent like college or high school kids. Don’t skimp on salaries and benefits to attract more experienced people. Make these decisions now so that you’ve got the time to search, find, and train your new staff.

Review your fulfillment procedures and consider international customers.
Check to make sure that you’ve got all forms and paperwork at the ready to handle any transaction that comes in. Double check your assembly, quality control, and shipping areas to make sure they’re stocked with the supplies they need. Also make sure employees have adequate space to do their work. Make sure you understand the procedures for shipping products overseas and you’ve got your shipping companies lined up to handle these types of transactions.

Create your job descriptions and ads. 
Write a specific job description for each position you’re fulfilling – no matter how small. Make sure each responsibility is accountable and easily measured. Consider the specific experience and skills you’re looking for. Place your ads on popular employment and contractor sites like Monster, Indeed, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, UpWork and CraigsList. Look for talent among your friends, family,  and community,

Re-visit your physical space and employee schedules. 
Make sure your employees have enough space to do their work. If necessary, rent temporary space to hold inventory or create a production area. Consider work hours and the need to be operational 24/7 during the busy holiday season. Consider employees in a different time zone or even a different country to address language challenges. Consider using online scheduling services like When I Work or Shiftboard to help you manage hours, time, services and costs.

Leave time for employee training.
The more you can mentor, train, and advise your new employees before the big holiday rush, the better you’ll be able to handle the increased volume. Reserving time for this can pay off big productivity dividends during the holiday season.

Consider incentive commission plans.

Think about offering incentives or commissions to your employees based on sales and profits of the company during the holiday season. “Based on how well the business does and how much the employee works (full or part time), we give them a holiday gift,” said Brian Dagnon, the owner of RadDog, an online seller of specialty products for dog owners. Have weekly sales and on-time fulfillment goals and even consider contests to keep your employees focused on your goals and reward them when they achieve.


 

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The content of this article is provided for informational purposes only. You should always obtain independent business, tax, financial, and legal advice before making any business decision.