Upgrading your workplace before the holiday rush
Determine the people necessary for your holiday period - part-timers, full-timers, contractors. Consider hiring lower-cost talent like college or high school kids. But don’t skimp on salaries and benefits if you want 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.
Check to make sure that you’ve got all forms and paperwork at the ready to handle any transaction that comes in – especially if you sell internationally. Double check your package assembly, quality control, and shipping areas to make sure they’re stocked with supplies and that employees have adequate space to work. Review the procedures for shipping products overseas and have a few shipping companies lined up to handle these types of transactions.
Create and post your job listings.
Write a specific job description for each position you’re fulfilling – no matter how small. Check that 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.
If you have increased your number of employees, make sure your they have enough space to do their work. If necessary, rent temporary space to hold inventory or create a production area. Consider work hours and whether you need to be operational 24/7 during the busy holiday season. Think about hiring employees in a different time zone or even a different country to address language challenges. Look into 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.