Ho Ho Ho – The Secret Translation

Ho Ho HoWhat! Ho Ho Ho has a secret translation?

We can all picture Santa Claus leaning back with hands on his belly while saying “ho ho ho”. It is part of his joyful and laughter-rich image. “Ho ho ho” is an onomatopoeia, which is a word that sounds like what it means. It is a deep and happy sound.

In the 1970 Christmas cartoon movie, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, we learn that Santa played with the animals as a child. It was the seals that taught him this infectious sound.

Little did we know that Santa’s Ho Ho Ho was really a message for indie retailers!

Each HO is short for HOld and this is what it really means:

HOld on to your Holidays. Take 15 minutes to write down your personal Christmas Manifesto. What do you want the holidays to mean for you? What activities do you want to do? What do you want to give yourself more time for so that you are less stressed? You have the opportunity now to make sure that you set aside time to make sure you fit everything in. Write them in your schedule now. Make a plan right now to take the time off. Here is the trick – write the most important on your schedule in 2 spots. We all know that team members get sick and emergencies come up – so the second time slot is for insurance reasons. There is much you don’t have control over during this time of year. Make sure you take control of what you can!

HOld on to your Money. The most common cash flow mistake is that the slower months of the first quarter aren’t considered. Make sure that you have done your cash flow out through June. So often all vendor bills are paid at once in December leaving no money in the bank for rent and other fixed expenses going forward. Talk to your vendors and pay them smaller amounts out into the next year. When I suggest this to my clients, they always respond that this will never work. Yet they find that it does! As long as you stay in communication with your vendors, you will find that they are willing to work with you. If you have any concern about your cash flow for the next year, ask for help. If you don’t ask, you won’t know what help you might have gotten.

HOld on to your Sanity. During this time of year, everything seems to be moving faster. There is more to do and less time to do it. Mistakes that your team makes can make you even crazier than usual! Use this to your advantage. After putting out the fire, be sure to keep a list in a safe place of procedures that you want to fix in the New Year. Don’t beat yourself up. Take a deep breath and let it go. When things go wrong this year, you will know precisely what you need to change in January to make your store run smoother.

And with these three “HOlds” in mind, you are even more ready for the holidays then you may have thought! Have a wonderful holiday season and wishing you much success!

This was originally published in Retail Minded’s 2016 Holiday Issue. Go to https://retailminded.com/magazine/ to get access to this fantastic one-of-a-kind indie retailer lifestyle resource.