Top business tips – preparing your business for the festive season
In Charles Dickens’ book A Christmas Carol, the protagonist, Ebenezer Scrooge, is visited by three ghosts – the ghost of Christmas past, the ghost of Christmas present and the ghost of Christmas future. A grumpy old man with no Yuletide spirit, Scrooge’s interactions with this trio of phantoms remind him about the true meaning of the festive season and bring happiness back into his heart.
Much like Scrooge, your company may need a little extra inspiration to truly embrace the festive season period. For businesses both big and small, this time of the year should be seen as an opportunity to increase sales, build loyalty and attract more customers. But this entails more than just throwing a year end party and putting up some decorations; it’s about using the holidays to make sales and plan for the year ahead. We’ve compiled a list of handy business tips you should take note of to ensure your business gets the most out of the end of year retail rush:
The ghost of Christmas past
One of the best business tips to prepare for the holiday season is to look at how things have happened in the past and use these insights to improve your offerings. Businesses should be asking themselves if most of their leads/sales were from email marketing, social media, paid search or organic traffic? This way you can keep doing what worked and change strategies that were less successful. By identifying previous buying trends, you’ll have a good idea of which products are likely to sell out, allowing you to plan your stock purchases accordingly. Many shops will change their operating hours to meet the increase in demand, and, in doing so, make extra profit. In the light of how this spike in customers has put strain on your business in the past, it’s best to prepare your staff to handle the influx so that your customer experience isn’t compromised.
The ghost of Christmas present
When the silly season does actually roll around, you should have strategies in place to ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible. Most of us can understand why the festive period is a stressful time for business owners but we shouldn’t forget that it’s also taxing on your staff. If your business isn’t shutting down at the end of the year, it’s important to keep them motivated and happy. Chances are that you will have hired some temporary holiday staff – which takes the pressure off your full-time employees – and these temps should also be treated like part of the team. The more welcome and comfortable they feel, the more likely they’ll be to give your customers excellent service. Adequate training is essential so that they are properly prepared to deal with whatever the Christmas rush throws their way.
Ghosts of Christmas future
When planning for your Christmas future, you’ll need to build out holiday-specific landing pages, set up festive email marketing campaigns and make use of automated social media tools to make your festive season posting less of a hassle. When prepping for the festive period, it’s also important to think about the coming year. By making sure you have all your ducks in a row and finish any outstanding projects ahead of December, you’ll make getting back to business in January much easier. At the end of it all, one of our top business tips is to remember to say thank you to staff – recognising how hard your employees have worked – and how much you appreciate their efforts.
The festive season is all about uncompromising customer service and getting products to customers in a timely fashion. This maximises profits and sales. Utilising a point-of-sale system that can handle the merry madness is a great way for businesses to mitigate some of the silly season stress. Check out this infographic to find out how the right POS partner can ensure that your payments are fast, secure and cost-effective.