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Inculcating Agile Culture: Key Considerations for Organizational Transformation – ReadWrite

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Rakesh Soni


While it was once just considered a methodology in software development, an Agile approach is something that can benefit organizations in all industries. Many organizations have been slowly moving towards a more agile approach for years. However, many businesses have had to embrace this rapid approach much faster than they planned to due to COVID-19 sweeping across the world.

Inculcating Agile Culture: Key Considerations for Organizational Transformation

Seen as an agile practice, businesses seemed to respond faster when faced with a crisis (like the global pandemic), and there are clear benefits that come with adopting the methodology. Agile businesses were able to cope better and adapt to the changing conditions faster than other organizations – giving them an advantage.

Since the Manifesto for Agile Software Development (MASD) was created in 2001, more businesses have started to apply agile practices and processes. It is no longer just a methodology used in software development.

Agile has evolved massively over the past few decades into a much broader set of values, which can add value to organizations across all domains.

Here are some ways an agile mindset can add value:

Effective organizational structure

In agile organizations, you will find a greater emphasis on teamwork rather than the traditional work hierarchy. It encourages the breakdown of silos within organizations to enable flexible, cross-functional teams. These teams report to the manager, thereby creating a solid network of teams.

With clear goals and standard processes, each team knows what is expected of them and has a specific role within the organization. Not only this but implementing cross-functional teams provides members with the opportunity to expand their skills beyond their areas of expertise.

Efficiency and continuous improvement

The agile methodology revolves around quick decision-making and experimentation, standardized work processes, transparency, and continuous learning.

The agile mindset requires organizations to work in quick cycles that enable them to adapt quickly to any changes or disruptions. It also encourages teams to continue to improve how they work together. This enables agile teams to come up with better working strategies to improve their processes and output.

Deliver greater value

In an agile culture, there is a massive focus on creating and delivering value. As such, the approach is very customer-centric. Agile organizations aim to meet and exceed the exact needs of consumers throughout every stage of the consumer life cycle.

An agile methodology helps to focus efforts on the tasks that matter. By creating this alignment to focus on specific objectives, organizations can deliver greater value. In turn, this leads to happier clients and increased profits. In fact, organizations that implement an agile strategy can see an increase in profit growth (goremotelydotnet) of up to 60%!

Motivated employees

When thinking about the people within an agile organization, there is a big emphasis on creating a cohesive and collaborative community. As mentioned, the agile approach promotes cross-functional teams, which facilitates greater role mobility. Team members can broaden their skill sets and learn valuable knowledge from one another.

This collaborative, flexible work environment drives employees to be innovative and try new things. Agile creates engaged and empowered teams, who then work harder and are more productive. They can then create and deliver more value for the business.

6 Guidelines to Transition to Agile and Improve Your Probability of Success

Transitioning to an agile organizational model is more than simply implementing a few new processes. It requires a complete shift in mindset and organizational structure. So, here are six important guidelines that can help you instill agile in your organization.

1. Have a compelling reason to change.

Having a good reason to switch to a more agile approach is the most crucial part of your organization’s transition. It’s the basis on which you can measure your success or failure.

Every single person within your organization must understand why you are transitioning to a more Agile culture. In turn, this helps them to understand why they need to change how they work and how their mindset needs to shift. By explaining the benefits of agile, your employees can make a stronger commitment to adopting the approach.

Many people will not change their behavior without a solid reason that is relevant to them specifically. So, make sure they understand how an agile culture will affect and benefit them.

2. Publicize management commitment to change.

It is essential that there is publicized support from the top level of your organization. This will create a ripple effect throughout the organization as people take lead from those at an executive level. Having the leaders of an organization encourage the move to agile enforces the importance of the shift.

As such, it fosters a greater degree of commitment to the transition.

By providing a comprehensible explanation behind the change and combining it with good support, you can motivate your employees to embrace it.

Make sure that you actively keep track of this change regularly to reinforce it and make sure your workforce continues to adopt the new ways of working. If it is seen as just a fad to management, your employees won’t take it as seriously. As such, they won’t make a concerted effort toward embracing it.

So, management needs to get behind agile fully as they are who the teams look up to for support. If management does not support it, then there may be people who don’t see its value and perceive it as meaningless. You need to ensure that all employees know that management is completely behind the change to agile.

3. Address all the areas of change.

You should be as upfront and straightforward with every member of the organization as you can. In this way, you will be able to address all areas of change. Everyone will be more confident and receptive to the change if they know exactly what is going to happen and why.

You also run less of a risk of failing if you address all the areas of change. You can see where the most amount of change will happen and what you need to focus on more. Addressing all the areas of change means that you are prepared for anything that may happen and promotes a more open environment.

4. Map your approach.

You should always map out your agile approach clearly. This can help provide clarity and actionable steps to your entire organization. Mapping everything out helps to align your strategy and make sure that each step takes you closer to the main objectives. It enables you to clearly see the direction your project is going.

In addition, everyone can see the plan so they become more aware of what is going to happen and how it will happen. This encourages them to be more receptive to the changes that need to be made.

Mapping your approach means that you can organize your continuous improvement efforts. It also provides a safe way to run experiments and learn from them. Overall, it enables you to visualize the move toward Agile better.

5. Motivate the team.

It is critical that your team members are completely committed to adopting an agile approach and mindset. So, you need to make an effort to clearly communicate with them and ensure they understand why the transition is beneficial for them specifically.

Some team members may be more resistant to change than others. The best way to encourage them to support the shift is to illustrate the advantages of agile through success. To demonstrate successfully to your team, try to achieve some small, quick wins as you begin to adopt the approach.

6. Redefine accountability.

Instead of recognizing individual work, you need to hold teams accountable for their success. Agile requires a shift in mindset from working as individuals to working effectively in cross-functional teams.

By redefining accountability, you spread the load over the entire team. They each need to contribute in their own way and work together to complete their work. This puts a greater emphasis on working collaboratively, which is a key principle in Agile.

Ultimately, it improves efficiency and quality of work as everyone has to work together. The team cannot rely on one individual to do all the important work. Rather, they need to communicate and delegate amongst themselves to complete their tasks, thereby creating a more positive and collaborative work culture.

The Bottom Line

To instill an Agile culture, companies need to modify their structures, technologies, processes, and, most importantly, their mindsets. For successful implementation, there needs to be a complete cultural shift.

Today’s environment is pressing organizations to become more Agile as it enables them (and you) to adapt to change quickly. While inculcating it into your organization is a long, continuous process that may require complete restructuring, it is worth it in the long run. Your company will be more resilient and competitive overall.

Image Credit: alexander suhorucov; pexels

Rakesh Soni

CEO & Co-Founder of LoginRadius

Rakesh Soni is CEO of LoginRadius, a leading provider of cloud-based digital identity solutions. The LoginRadius Identity Platform serves over 3,000 businesses and secures one billion digital identities worldwide. LoginRadius has been named as an industry leader in the customer identity and access management space by Gartner, Forrester, KuppingerCole, and Computer Weekly.

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How to Write Blogs your Clients will Actually Read

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AIDA


Blogging is the best strategy when marketing your products or services to a niche audience for whom you customize your content. As discussed, some flawless writing skills exist to captivate such audiences and improve your website visibility.

4 Ways to Write Blogs your Clients will Read

Millions of blogs with daily content releases reach the target audiences intending to relay particular information daily. However, such blogs face glaring setbacks evident in the competition from similar bloggers in the same niches offering superior content. It is, therefore, commonplace to find them struggling to fight for a share of the scarce attention afforded by the audience.

 

We outline strategies one can employ to emerge as the leading source of readable content clients want to see on their screens. But first, we examine a client’s thought process from the time they see a blog post to the time they finish reading.

What is a Client’s Thought Process when Encountering Blogs?

Many readers go through the ‘AIDA’ experience whenever they encounter a blog touching on a particular topic. The acronym stands for ‘attention,’ ‘interest,’ ‘desire,’ and ‘action.’ These four steps in the prospect’s mind define the major attack points you can use to make your audience glued to your content. Let’s break each one down individually:

  1. Attention: the prospect comes across a blog whose headline captures the attention of their gaze.
  2. Interest: the individual notices relatable words or phrases that interest them.
  3. Desire: the internet user becomes captivated by the blog’s content, making them read through the article.
  4. Action: the client follows through with the blog’s call-to-action elements, effectively fulfilling the blogger’s desire.

Despite the millions of blogs online users encounter, adherence to the blogging best practice requirements will take your readers through these steps. Understanding how to summon your writing prowess for each of the four pieces of the puzzle to fall in place is essential. The following pointers will help impose your content onto the audience without appearing needy and boring:

How to grab the attention of the audience

Simple: People like what they see. If you want to captivate an audience, the question is, “what will the clients think when they scan the article?”

Simply put, audiences want to encounter an easily scannable blog; an easy read is always welcome. This is also crucial when you’re starting a blog – you need to get it right from the get-go, so you don’t end up having to fix certain issues once your blog starts growing.

The following details will help you better your chances of making the blog easy to scan:

Create a consistent article structure

The structure of your piece will make you the best-read blog in no time. The audience will sense careful organization in your work, making it easy to pick out the critical parts quickly. People have short attention spans when on their devices because there are other distractions like messages, calls, and phone notifications. Additionally, they have a constant urge to visit social media sites and see what is happening worldwide. Social media has become an obsession for many people, and social media listening is one way to track this activity.

However, creating blogs with simple formats will make them less anxious to look away because they can quickly scan captivating parts of your content. You can consider these points when designing your blog outline:

  1. Use titles, subtitles, headings, and subheadings to break your content into small readable parts. The user can quickly identify the content under each section without reading everything there.
  2. Write brief and straightforward sentences. Leave out any fluff which will make your sentences overly lengthy and tedious.
  3. Write short paragraphs with up to five short sentences. Long sentences will discourage your readers and divert their attention to other less stressful content.
  4. Use numbered lists to break down the paragraphs and highlight important points. You can alternate with bullet points for diversity.

Use appropriate images

Images can capture user attention better than words can manage. Prospects scanning your pieces notice the imagery and graphics in your article before they notice the detail of the terms. However, it is essential to use images appropriate to the context of your article content to avoid misleading readers. Images also have a few rules of best practice, including:

  • Ensure the pictures are clear and contain insights into the textual content.
  • Always label the images using descriptive words for instant context creation.
  • Use alt text when uploading images to your blogs to make them appear in search results when users type in the keywords.
  • Always indicate image sources to avoid copyright infringement reports that will limit visibility.

Relevant topic headlines

Your titles and headings must contain relevant topic keywords. Users will quickly identify and appreciate the relevance of your headlines to what they desire to read.

How to write content that captures user interest

After capturing the audience’s attention, the second point of focus is to cultivate their interest in reading through your articles. Here, you must be keen on the detail of the text in the body, which will inform the users’ interest. Every reader is looking for a few indicators of an exciting piece, as detailed below.

Use simple language

Simplicity, as stated, is the best way to captivate readers. The people going through your blog want to get the scope of your writing immediately after they begin going through your work. Please ensure the words are simple to understand without needing to digest or refer to other sources to understand meanings.

The flow of the story should also be flawless, with transitions between sentences and paragraphs allowing for instant follow-up. Avoid using jargon that will put off the audience by confusing them without revealing the actual context of your content.

Use authoritative phrases

Be simple but authoritative with your writing if you must keep readers interested in your work. They must know that you understand your facts and can relay the same without appearing uninformed. It would help to employ scientific, niche-specific, and descriptive language whenever needed to stir your readers’ minds.

Avoid overcomplicating things using such words and phrases with reasonable breaks between instances. You can use Google to identify the correct use of some word constructions concerning the topic.

Be keen on grammar

Grammar is key in keeping audiences hooked on your piece long enough to follow your drift. Many readers will instantly close your blog post and find other relevant material if they encounter regular mistakes in your work.

Material that strictly adheres to grammar rules indicates professionalism which people admire and respect. The readers will readily exhaust the entirety of your piece if they see consistent, grammatically correct sentences and phrases. You can use free or subscription-based tools to check and correct any grammar issues. Examples include Grammarly, QuillBot, etc.

How to make the audience desire to read your pieces

How to make the audience desire to read your pieces

Capturing the audience’s desire means you are deeper into the client’s mind with your blog post. Many writers fail to reach this level of client engagement because the two previous steps contain glaring mistakes that discourage readership. However, if you make it this far, the rest is almost child’s play: the reader is already willing to go all the way. Read on to learn how.

The following aspects will be forthcoming in shifting client desire in your favor:

Employ a conversational tone

A blog is an educative and informative piece aimed at a large audience accessing your website at convenience. Therefore, ensure your material engages as if in conversation with an eager student searching for knowledge. Tailor your content to make the audience appreciate your knowledge base and yearn to read on for more.

The best way is to use language that implores them to continue reading to discover what you have in store. You should be convincing and create a vocabulary that reflects a tone people are comfortable reading. Be sure to employ the active voice instead of the passive one because the audience will quickly see interest.

Understand your niche

The subject and tone of your article rely on the topic you are covering. Your delivery will also depend on understanding the niche you decide to cover with the content. Consequently, it is necessary to research extensively to know what, why, and for who you write. The niche also defines the characteristics of the audience your work targets. The following questions will help you understand the place and define the topic and tone of the content:

What content am I advertising? It enables you to define the nature of your product or service.

Who is the target audience? It helps define the characteristics of your audience. Your tone must align with the people reading your work. Are they adults? Children? Women? Men?

Why am I advertising this content? The point defines the solutions you are offering to the audience. It helps you figure out the type of language suitable for the context.

Use real-life examples

Readers will always relate to real-life situations which reflect on their lives or provide relatable contexts. Ensure to include the most relatable examples and case studies in your blog if you address particular product details. For example, when advertising a product, you can quote previous situations where it was helpful to a different audience. Your audience will quickly develop a connection to the item if they have a relatable problem.

Use statistics to back your statements.

Statistics are always helpful when you want to display your knowledge about the effectiveness and reliability of a product or service. The end game is to make the readers interested in understanding the implications of a service or product based on quoted metrics. Such insights also help in decision-making steps if readers want to take action. Thus, always provide authoritative links to said statistics so that they can confirm the truth of your words. They will be willing to try out the item on offer after that.

State and answer FAQs

Frequently asked questions (FAQs) offer the perfect chance to address additional client concerns. The readers will see the questions touching on relatable topics and quickly read on to see how you responded. They will then get the desire to discover more about your writings and what you offer outside the blog, cementing the purchase intent.

How to make the audience take action

How to make the audience take action

The best way to ensure that your readers take action after exhausting the detail of your written content is to tell them how. At this point, readers already understand your intention, your solutions, and the benefits they stand to gain. Therefore, you must direct their next steps so they can follow up to buy, receive updates, or discover more content. The following call-to-action (CAT) moves are ideal:

Ask the reader to engage with the blog post.

You can implement various CAT buttons on your page to direct the client to engage with the blog post as desired. First, you can have buttons for sharing, commenting, and liking your post after reading its entirety. It helps expose the content to a bigger audience since the individual helps spread it to friends and followers.

Ask the audience for feedback.

You can ask the audience to give feedback about the post or make suggestions about future posts. Here, you get to understand their perspective of the blog post or needs you did not address. It helps you prepare your following content.

Ask the prospect to subscribe.

You can request the prospect to click and subscribe to your content notifications for future posts. Here, subscribers indicate serious interest and become targets for new content before everyone else gets access.

Remarks

The piece explores the different strategies that can strengthen your reach by enabling optimal engagements on your blogs. The avenues explored ensure audience satisfaction by ensuring that your content reflects positively on the audience. You will find that the ideas are simple yet effective in helping build a brand with loyal readers who follow your work religiously. The trick is to keep them engaged every step of the way through content that reveals your attention to their needs.

Images, sentence structures, keywords, tone, and grammar are some pointers that will inform audience interest. However, the article explains their application in a way that underscores the effort by successful bloggers to win over a loyal audience. Careful application of the details herein opens your blog to new followers who will make you a popular destination in your niche.

Featured Image Credit: Photo by Suzy Hazelwood; Pexels; Thank you!

 

Nikola Baldikov

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How to Nail the Art of Visual Email Marketing

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How to Nail the Art of Visual Email Marketing


Interesting subject line ✅
Engaging and relevant copy ✅
Actionable CTA ✅

All these make up a high-converting email. But there’s one more thing that helps in getting maximum ROI from your emails. That’s attractive visuals. Vennage has revealed that 49% of marketers rate visual marketing as “very important” for their marketing strategy. Three days later, people will probably remember only 10% of the information they hear but 65% of the information if it is presented with a suitable image.

So, if you want your emails to make a difference and prompt the subscribers to take action, using visuals is a must.

That said, let’s take a look at all the different types of visuals and rich media you can use to enhance the email’s aesthetic appeal.

1. Images

Static images come first, as they are a basic yet compelling part of visual email marketing. Whether you want to display your product with a pretty picture or break down the content with vectors, images come in handy. If you want to pull the plug on lengthy text, use relevant images along with a crisp copy.

Take a look at this email by Touch of Modern. They have nailed the art of product photography and included the perfect image that would attract shoppers.

Source

2. Illustrations

Illustrations can be used as a powerful storytelling tool in emails. According to a survey, illustrations and infographics are performing better than many other visual elements when it comes to yielding engagement. Rather than using stock images, you can use meaningful illustrations that add more value to the emails.
Here’s an email by Harry’s that uses an illustration to depict the awesomeness of their face wash packs.

Source

3. 3D Images

3D images originated in the 1970s. They established their identity in web designing and gradually made their way to emails. These images add depth to the flat email design and bring freshness to the subscriber’s inbox.
Burberry has incorporated a nice 3D image to promote their open spaces in the email.

4. GIFs

Let me take you back to the earliest usage of GIFs in emails.
In the year 2007, Lake Champlain Chocolates incorporated GIFs in their emails, and to their sheer surprise, it brought 49% higher conversions.

Then, in 2014, Dell drove 109% revenue (marketingsherpa) with the help of an animated laptop image in email.

Animated GIFs prove to be extremely beneficial in various use cases, as discussed below:

  • Displaying the huge range of products available in your eCommerce store
  • Inspiring wanderlust in the readers with enticing images of the destinations
  • Demonstrating the usage of your products
  • Promoting a new show released on your OTT platform
  • Executing occasion-based email marketing
  • Animating the typography to draw attention to an important message

Anthropologie has used action-packed animation to show its products. It portrays comfort and aesthetics and lures the readers to buy.

5. 3D Animations

3D animations are a step above GIFs. If you want to further enhance the user experience, use 3D GIFs as Lyft has done.

Source

6. Animated Illustrations

Illustrations with animations are a visual treat. They help in telling a story to the subscribers. If you go by the “Show, don’t tell” adage, try using animated illustrations in your emails.
Grammarly sets the perfect example of using animated illustrations in their email promoting the midnight sale. The animated owl and clock form a great combination to convey the message.

7. Cinemagraphs

GIFs are snippets taken from a video or an animation played on a loop. On the other hand, cinemagraphs are sophisticated animations with a seamlessly endless loop that take the subscriber back to a past moment.
Here’s an email example by Detour Coffee Roasters showing the use of cinematography in their welcome email.

Like GIFs, you can use cinemagraphs in the telecommunications industry and add visual oomph to your emails. It will pique the subscriber’s curiosity and make them buy an OTT subscription to watch the show.

8. Videos

You can add videos in emails in two ways.

  1. Place a video thumbnail with the play button and take the reader to the landing page.
  2. Embed the video in the email itself and let it play therein.

The first option is pretty straightforward in that you just have to embed a static image in the email that emulates a video thumbnail.
Here’s an example.

The second option requires some coding expertise. You have to consider email client support too, if you want to use embedded videos in email.
Take a look at this email template to experience an embedded video in it.

Some Additional Ideas to Make Emails Stand Out

  1. You can use a monochrome design layout with a single color in the emails.
  2. Add gradients to reinforce visual hierarchy and get the emails read till the end. You can even experiment with innovative CTA buttons with gradients.
  3. The key to using visuals effectively is to follow the principles of visual hierarchy. Arrange the email components in a Z or F-shaped pattern to guide the readers. Also, adhere to the accessibility best practices.

Pro-tips for Adding Visuals in Emails

  1. The text-to-image ratio should be maintained at 80:20.
  2. As email clients block images by default, add a suitable alt-text with every image. This will also be useful if the subscriber views the email with images turned off. It is an important accessibility best practice and aids the screen readers in conveying the message to subscribers with visual impairment.
  3. Don’t add important information and CTA in the images.
  4. An all-image email will trigger spam filters and hamper your email deliverability rate.
  5. Avoid stock photos at all costs. Real photographs work better if you want to leave a lasting impact on the subscriber’s mind.
  6. Animations should not flash between 2 to 55 Hz; otherwise, it will aggravate the condition of photosensitive epilepsy.
  7. Keep close tabs on the email file size to ensure fast loading. It will prevent cutting into the user’s Internet bandwidth.
  8. While adding GIFs and embedded videos, include a suitable fallback to curb rendering issues.
  9. Use images judiciously without getting over the board.
  10. Test the emails so that they render well across all the major email clients and devices.

Wrapping Up

Remember those times when it seemed impossible to format emails with anything more than an image? And now, we have so many different options to explore and make our emails more fun and entertaining. Besides visuals, you can even use interactivity to add to the visual appeal. Test and see what works best for you.

Put your creative hats on to create email designs that resonate with your email subscribers. It will, in turn, bring you unmatched results in terms of open rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, and ROI.

Featured Image Credit: Provided by the Author; Thank you!

Disha Bhatt (Dave)

Disha Bhatt (Dave)

Disha Bhatt (Dave) works as a Content Strategist at Email Uplers. She is a dentist, who has found her calling in words & technical subjects. She loves to pen down travelogues and romantic short stories in her free time.

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6 Ways to Prepare Your Business for the Upcoming Holidays

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Calendar


The holiday season can be incredibly disruptive, especially for small businesses and their customers. You could either be in a very slow season looking for things to accomplish or so overwhelmed by business that you feel like you got run over by a reindeer. If you haven’t started making preparations yet, you need to start today.

Simple adjustments can help you gain more business or handle a heavy influx of holiday patrons. Here are several ideas you can consider implementing to end the year on a high note:

1. Decorate With Holiday Spirit

Any customer that enters your business will feel the holiday spirit if you’ve got the right decorations in place. You don’t have to go overboard with inflatable pumpkins or flashing Christmas tree lights, but some well-placed decorative touches can really bring the place together. Plus, this makes the workspace festive for your employees as well.

You can choose to highlight the general themes of the seasons or focus on specific holidays. For example, autumn leaves and fall colors can get you well into November. You could also mix things up by putting up ghosts and jack-o’-lanterns for Halloween and switching them out for turkeys and pilgrims for Thanksgiving.

The same can be done for winter. Snowflakes and snowmen will work for the entire season. If you want to get specific, you have Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year’s decorations to consider.

2. Work Out Employee Vacation Times

Everyone wants to take time off during the holidays, and for good reason. This is one of the best times of year to gather with family and enjoy life together. Unfortunately, some businesses can’t afford to have all of their employees taking time off simultaneously. Your job is to make sure everyone is getting fair time off while still staffing important dates around the holiday season.

How you approach this task is up to you and how you think your team will respond best. You might think it’s fair to let the most tenured employees select their days off first. You could also develop a rotation so that the same people don’t hog the same days off every year. Even a first-come, first-served approach could be considered if you think your team will be OK with it.

Remember that you deserve to take some time off as well. Being an entrepreneur is incredibly demanding and time-consuming. Taking even a couple of days off to enjoy the holidays with family can help you recover mentally and physically.

3. Encourage Calendar Collaboration Among Team Members

To ensure everyone on your team is on the same page with project deadlines, essential meetings and events, and client needs, it’s essential to collaborate on a team calendar. Most calendar software today offers team calendars.

Make sure everyone on your team has access to one another’s calendar so they are aware of when they are available. Then, team members can collaborate to help each other take on things that could otherwise be missed.

Thankfully, there are many collaborative calendar integrations available for teams to utilize in order to maximize their time. By utilizing these tools, teams can work more efficiently together. Therefore, they can minimize the chances of missing deadlines, missing meetings, or making clients unhappy.

4. Make Holiday Business Hours Known

Your customers also deserve to know how your business will operate throughout the upcoming holidays. You should communicate in advance the days you plan on being closed. This way, customers and clients won’t be disappointed when they try to visit, and nobody is there to receive them.

This is extremely important for schedule-based businesses. The sooner you block off certain days, the less likely you will have to reschedule a meeting or appointment that was booked in advance. Clients who have their end-of-year scheduled meetings rearranged or moved at the last minute will not be happy.

Consider sending out an email that details your holiday hours to any customers who have provided contact information to you. Additionally, you could also consider adding a note on your email signature that states when your business will be closed. You could implement this early on, especially for the winter holidays. At the very least, put up a notice on your front door and website that makes the revised schedule known and accessible.

5. Plan Marketing and Promotions

The holiday season is for family and friends, of course, but it’s also a commercial opportunity for businesses. (There’s a reason they call the day after Thanksgiving “Black Friday.”) While you shouldn’t lose sight of what’s most important, your business should be thinking about some promotions to run. The right marketing campaign at the right time can dramatically boost your revenue.

Marketing plans practically write themselves this time of year. Black Friday and Christmas sales are common and desirable. A salon could run cut-price haircut specials on Black Friday for those who want to escape the shopping fray. A mani-pedi promotion could capture the attention of those primping for holiday parties. Put your business’s personal twist on the season, and you’re likely to see sales increase.

What’s most important to prepare for is the increase in business during a holiday promotion. Make sure you are appropriately staffed for busy days with numerous consumers cashing in on holiday deals. If you’re not prepared to handle the business you’ve attracted, you’ll have a blue Christmas.

6. Consider Getting Extra Help

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of the business coming your way over the holidays, consider contracting some extra help. Plenty of businesses hire seasonal workers to lend them a hand for a couple of months. Your business doesn’t have to be an exception.

The great thing about seasonal workers is that there’s no long-term commitment. You can get an extra receptionist, hair stylist, or stockroom organizer for just as long as you need. These workers are looking for some extra holiday cash and simply want the additional hours before life returns to normal.

You may even consider contracting some digital help. A webmaster can help you keep your website up and running even with double the online traffic. Your clever marketing strategy could be implemented by a third party so you can focus more fully on your customers.

Closing Thoughts

Of all the above steps, the most important common denominator is to be sure your clients and customers are aware of when your business will be out, so they can plan ahead as well. This will help your business avoid the inconvenience and disappointment the unavailability may cause. Be sure to encourage in-house collaboration on important dates, in addition to collaborating externally with your clients and customers.

Keep your business on the nice list by being prepared for every upcoming holiday, whether it’s the longer holiday breaks in the winter or the shorter holidays throughout the year. With the above holiday preparation planning tips, your business can plan well ahead for this holiday season so nothing slips through the cracks.

Though it’s an extremely busy time for everyone, the holiday season doesn’t have to get stressful. There are so many ways to avoid all of the stress by planning well. The better you work together to prepare, the jollier the holiday season can be for your business and your customers as we head into the 2023 new year.

You might not feel entirely ready for 2023 just yet, and that’s fine. But by taking steps to prepare for the new year now, you’ll position your business to succeed beyond your expectations.

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Featured Image Credit: Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh; Pexels; Thank you!

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