By Sue Chapman

Over the last few weeks, we’ve talked about specific elements of getting ready for the 2014 holiday season. Believe it or not, looking ahead to Holiday 2015 plays a big part in this year’s readiness, too.

It might seem like a long way away right now, but it’s important to not become too short sighted in your holiday planning activities. Lessons learned from your preparations this year can have significant impact on your success next year.

So every time you complete an activity, check in with yourself to see how it could be even better next year. Here are three quick steps to follow:

  1. Conduct a post-mortem. Check in with yourself – and your team – after each activity is complete, and plan to do a full post-mortem with your team immediately following the 2014 holiday shopping season.
  2. Recognize the successes and the stumbles. But don’t just acknowledge and move on; document everything, across all elements – from promotions to workflow processes – when they are still fresh on your mind. This will ensure you don’t make the same mistakes twice.
  3. Learn from yourself. Documenting everything, being honest with yourself and listening to your team and your customers for new ideas, can make next year even better. In some cases, it can help you get started even sooner.

Need a refresher on ways to get ready for the holiday season? Check out our full list of tips in our Get Holiday Ready blog series:

Next week, we’ll wrap up our Get Holiday Ready series with our full Holiday 2014 Readiness Checklist.