Your Guide to Preparing for Seasonality

By Leslie Harding

At Wonolo we help connect temporary workers with businesses that need extra help. Because of this, we have unique insight into seasonal peaks and what it takes to make your business successful during these times. That’s why we put together our new Guide to Seasonality

Many businesses, especially those in the retail industry, experience seasonality that impacts planning, staffing, and income in a big way. For example, florists may wait all year for Mother’s Day, while a swimwear retailer may be waiting for Memorial Day, and a gift retailer may be waiting for Black Friday. No matter when your busy season is, it’s key to start planning early and often to be prepared. 

Here are some of the key areas we cover in our workbook (and many more!): 

1. The process of hiring and onboarding or contracting with workers is a critical component of a successful peak season. If you are understaffed, dealing with no shows, or dealing with workers who are unfamiliar with the desired results, you will be wasting valuable time and resources that could be utilized toward business success. Things to consider:

  • Determine how much business you are planning to do and how many people you will need to help you meet business goals during peak season. 
  • Prepare an engaging and effective program to ramp up new temporary workers. Encourage your team to provide consistent guidance to new people and make them feel welcome.
  • Show appreciation for your team’s hard work and celebrate accomplishments for all workers, including temporary or seasonal hires.

2. Outside of your staff, there is nothing more important than ensuring you have the proper inventory and equipment in place. As with anything, planning is the key to success, which includes making sure you have enough inventory to address demand, and your equipment is serviced and functioning properly. These steps can be the difference in a successful peak season or not. Things to consider:

  • Review inventory that isn’t selling and determine the best strategies for getting the inventory out of your warehouse.
  • Make sure your team has a clear understanding on how to utilize the appropriate equipment and knows what to do in all scenarios.

3. Your peak season is over, how did it go? If your organization isn’t conducting a deep-dive to determine areas of success, areas of improvement, and how you’ll manage next year, you’re missing a major opportunity. Check out our post-mortem section for questions to help you with this process, which includes:

  • What worked? What didn’t? Why? It’s important you have a deep understanding of why you achieved, or more importantly, didn’t achieve your targets. 

This article was originally posted in Wonolo.

Please share our hub with the world!