This year, many businesses are throwing the just-in-time strategy out the window and instead stockpiling inventory to make sure they have enough product on hand.
1. Holiday Cards: It’s never too early to order business holiday cards. If you’re sending paper cards, it’s recommended to mail them by December 1 to avoid the deluge of other cards, or even sending Thanksgiving cards if time permits.
2. Corporate Gifts: Considering sending a gift to a top-tier client or vendor? Check the recipient’s gift policy first. Larger corporations likely have strict guidelines on employees receiving gifts from vendors, suppliers and partners. Once you have that information, make your list and order early to ensure timely delivery. Look for retailers that offer free shipping so you don’t end up with another “to-do” on your list and more cash out of your pocket.
3. Gift Cards: According to data from the National Retail Federation, gift cards are the most requested gift item — for the eighth year in a row. Capitalize on this trend by offering your customers the option to “gift” from your business.
4. Ribbons, Wraps, Bags & Boxes: PeraDice Cards & Gifts in Sacramento, CA, always has gift wrapping supplies on hand. Investigate the cost savings and convenience of buying in bulk, and be sure to include everything you need, such as tape, tags and scissors to go with your paper, bags and bows.
5. Shipping Supplies: Even if your business doesn’t regularly do shipping, chances are you’ll need to ship something during the holiday season. Make the task a simple one by stocking a supply of shipping materials like boxes, Bubble Wrap® or peanuts, shipping tape and labels. And make life easier by looking for vendors you already work with that might also offer convenient shipping options. The more you can do at places you already go, the better for your time management.
6. Decorations: Show your holiday spirit by decorating inside and outside your business. But consider your space and traffic when choosing decorations. And remember that not everyone celebrates Christmas; your decorations can be inclusive of other holidays without losing any festive spirit.
Back Room & Breakroom Basics
Your employees feel the pressure of the holiday season, too. Stock up on breakroom and back room supplies to increase their comfort and productivity:
1. Snacks, Coffee and Water: It’s important to keep your staff happy, unstressed and motivated. Supply them with good food and beverages. For a special treat, she recommends ordering in lunches on particularly busy days.
2. Hand Sanitizer and Wipes: Unfortunately, the holiday season coincides with flu season. Keep plenty of hand sanitizer and wipes close by so your employees stay healthy and productive.
1. High-Use Office Supplies: The last thing you need is to run out of critical supplies like cash register tape or paper for the copier. Take inventory now of the supplies you use the most and stock a little more than usual to be on the safe side.
2. Technology Upgrades: If the holidays aren’t your busy season, they can be the perfect time to upgrade office technology like printers, computers, tablets and cell phones. The lower work volume means problems, bugs and delays will have less impact on your operation.
3. Updated Accounting & Tax Software: Chances are good there are changes to the tax laws for the coming year. Hodges recommends purchasing up-to-date tax and accounting software before the start of the new year to ensure a fluid transition.
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