The holiday season is right around the corner, which means businesses across the U.S. are gearing up for the busiest and most competitive time of the year. For many of those who have experienced financial losses during the COVID-19 pandemic throughout 2020, the holiday season could potentially land your business a good chunk of revenue. But it’s crucial that you play your cards right to keep your holiday gains from turning into holiday losses.

That said, here are a few tips you can use to help get your business ready for the upcoming holiday season so you don’t find your business falling behind in the rush.

1. Make holiday schedules
Now is the best possible time to start figuring out your business’ holiday operating hours. It can be tricky to determine who will work when, especially during a pandemic, but by making a plan now and then devising a back-up plan for that plan and a back-up plan for that plan, you can feel secure that you’ll be ready to take on the holiday rush. Make sure that you ask your team to request holiday time off by a specific date so you can better plan their schedules ahead. Consider worst-case scenarios, too, so you can plan accordingly. Don’t assume employees won’t call in sick. After all, the busiest time of the year also happens to be during the winter, which is prime flu season on top of COVID-19.

2. Start hiring now
One of the biggest mistakes businesses make during the holiday season is hiring seasonal help too late in the year and then not having the time to train them properly. The reason for seasonal employees is to help your business stay as efficient as possible when you’re busy. To make sure that your seasonal workers are up to the task, start hiring now and begin training ASAP. The more prepared your seasonal workers are, the more productive your business will be when the holiday season finally arrives.

3. Negotiate your shipping contract
In 2018 alone, up to 87 billion parcels were shipped worldwide. During the holiday season, parcel shipping will make up a big chunk of your budget. You want to be sure that you’re not losing money because of issues with your parcel contract. If you think your parcel shipping contract is fine, consider the fact that over $2 billion in refunds and credits in parcel shipping go unclaimed by U.S. businesses every year.

If your business has a GSR waiver in its parcel shipping contract, too, you can guarantee you’ll be losing money this holiday season and maybe even some customers to the competition. Now is the time to negotiate your shipping contract before the holiday rush happens.

Fortunately, AFMS can help you with parcel contract auditing and parcel contract optimization so you can feel confident your parcel contract is working for your business. For more information on our parcel contract negotiation services and how we can help you get the best possible contract deals, contact AFMS today.

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