Like every other year, December quietly snuck up on us leaving everyone, especially business owners, with an equal shot of early festive cheer and last-minute preparation fear. To them, it is about having a solid finish while simultaneously setting the business up for an early start in the new year.
The last thing you need is another checklist, so below are some tips on how to sleigh through it:
Spread the Cheer
Whether it is a billboard, a gift delivered to a supplier or handwritten “Happy Holiday” on a delivery, well-wishes is an affordable (and lightweight) solution to expressing your gratitude for their patronage during the year (it also just so happens to rate quite high on the social ‘shareability’-scale).
Let it show
With the incredible increase in online shopping and searching, no business can afford to not have a digital presence. Email is still the top marketing channel for 55% of brands (Experian) and 67% of consumers say that they bought a gift they saw on social media (Crowdtap). Ensuring that you have the right message out at the right time, requires a hands-on approach and (let’s face it) business owners also need a break. Solve this by pre-scheduling your messaging (emails and posts) or get a support team to help you Go Social or stay social.
Sugar and Spice
With loads of sweet deals from Black Friday to Christmas, consumers are spoilt for choice. However, not all business can compete with continues special deals and low prices while still maintaining profitability. Spicing it up with personal service, combo-deals and unique offerings or experiences can satisfy the deal-hungry as well as the saturated exclusives alike, without sacrificing on your profit margins.
Most business shut down for a day or more over the festive holidays for some spring cleaning and systems checking. This also provides the ideal opportunity for system checks and upgrades (online payment portals, website revamps, etc.) with minimal disruption to the customer. The holidays can also have an impact on trading (opening and closing times) and payment processes (online payments and banking holidays), so be sure to inform them how the changes in this period may impact them.
Naughty or Nice
The holidays are a special time that people want to spend time with family. When it comes to seasonal staffing, unplanned absenteeism and staff shortages can have a direct impact on service delivery and can send customers for the door…to never return. Make sure to check staff availability and communicate leave periods and off times long in advance to ensure minimal disruption to your business.
Jingle all the way
Stock Up. Trade up. Profits up. Money in the Bank.
The Grinch of erratic deliveries and public holidays can, however, prevent great festive trade and the solution often lies in early and bulk stock purchasing as well as diversifying products and services. It is that easy. Although limited cash flow can impact this investment opportunity, it should not stifle the festive spirit as quick and easy access to funding is not a mere Christmas wish.