Decking the halls: Is your business ready for Christmas?

Decking the halls Is your business ready for ChristmasThe Christmas season is drawing ever closer and with it comes an avalanche of marketing, advertising, flyers, newsletters, emails, promotions, catalogues and jingles. For small children, this is the most exciting time of year. For small business owners, it might feel like you have no chance of competing.

But with a bit of planning, you can take advantage of the Christmas period – and make it more profitable for your business.

Plan, plan, plan

  Stock up on the stuff you know you’ll need – gift cards, packaging materials, stamps, and anything your business needs to run smoothly in any season.

  Take on new staff to cope with increased demand, or cover regular staff taking holidays. Do this early enough that you can train them across your systems.

  Keep your books in order. Outsource payroll and other administration jobs.

  Save by ordering early. Your suppliers will also be getting busier closer to Christmas. You might get a bulk discount and it’s reassuring to know you’re prepared ahead of time.

Then, move on to the fun bits

  Decide on any sales and special offers. These don’t have to be complicated – something simple that will boost your usual sales. It might be festive-themed products, or deals for Christmas parties.

  Promote them – send a newsletter to your customers, use social media or in-store advertising and window displays. The best Christmas promotions for small businesses are about consolidating the marketing tactics you normally use, so think about how your customers usually interact with you, and target your efforts on that channel.

•  If you’re selling gift-able products, make sure you have offers for both early birds and last-minute shoppers such as complimentary wrapping, or guaranteed on-time delivery.

Get the best possible return for your efforts

  Make sure your staff are familiar with your special offers and ready to sell.

  Have a strong call-to-action in any advertising, inviting people to call, email, come in, or buy.

  Follow up on sales – a personalised email always goes a long way.

Seasonal spike or slump?

Not all businesses get a boost over the Christmas season. If you’re not in retail, travel or hospitality, and especially if you’re in a B2B area and your clients are all away, you can also use this time to your advantage.

  Plan your business goals for 2015, tackle projects that have taken a backseat over the past year and touch base with customers you haven’t heard from in a while.

  Be proactive about cash flow – if you’re not chasing payment in December then you might be waiting until February. Invoice promptly, and follow up.

Take some time to say thank you

The Christmas season also marks the end of the year and is the perfect time to recognise your staff and customers. Handwritten notes are more personal and can make a stronger impression given the influx of electronic communication people will be receiving. Make a list and start writing them – spreading them out from now until Christmas is much easier than writing 50 in one (already very busy) week!

Preparing your business for the festive season is more than stringing up tinsel and fishing out the Christmas CDs. Cut through the build up to commercialisation by using it as a time to connect, in a very authentic way, and prepare to make sure your business is Christmas-ready.

How do you prepare your business for the festive season?  Leave us a comment below.

 

Comments

  1. I needed this. Thank you. Time to get organized this holiday season. I seem to be always catching my tail

  2. Holly Jean says:

    Friday is dedicated to strategizing in marketing for the upcoming month, and narrowing in on what our focus for the upcoming year is. MY does time fly! So much to do, so little time. I’ll be referencing this checklist 🙂

  3. Great tips for preparing for the Holiday “traffic”

  4. lumbie says:

    Great tips! I’m never prepared for the holiday season. Always playing catchup.

  5. Lorii Abela says:

    Thanks, Vicky,for sharing valuable tips on how to celebrate the holidays.

  6. Beth Blacker says:

    This is the first year since I started my business that I won’t be doing any holiday sales since I am in a transition and made the decision to avoid purchasing inventory needed for production and, therefore, end up with excess. So I guess that is my holiday season planning 🙂

Speak Your Mind

*