How to Prepare Your Business for the Run Up to Christmas
It is never too early to start making preparations for Christmas, but if you leave it too late, you will be putting your business in serious jeopardy. You can’t afford to miss out on the unique commercial opportunities that Christmas provides. Therefore, it is essential that you take the time to prepare. The following steps will help ensure that your business is in the optimal position when the time comes.
Review Last Year’s Performance
The first thing you need to do to prepare yourself for the Christmas period is to review the facts and figures from last year. These will tell you how successful your approach was and give you a solid foundation upon which to build your strategy for this year. Even if your last Christmas wasn’t the roaring success you were hoping for, reviewing what worked, and what didn’t, will still be of great value when it comes to developing your current strategy.
Looking over the statistics from last year will also give you an indication of what you can expect in terms of footfall. While the number of shoppers will vary year to year in accordance with a number of general market factors, a reliable strategy is to assume that each year will be busier than the last, but not dramatically so. This will ensure that you are able to fix any holes in your strategy from the previous year, while also making the necessary improvements to handle increased business.
Check Your Stock Levels
There is nothing more disastrous during the busy Christmas period than running out of your key products. For most of the year, when you find yourself running low on essentials, there are ways of replenishing your stock levels quickly. However, when Christmas comes around, the usual methods of rapid transport, including the usually reliable courier services, tend to become backlogged and slow.
As part of your review of the previous years’ performance, you should be paying particular attention to which items were your biggest sellers and ensuring that you maintain adequate stock to meet demand this year.
It would be crazy for any business to go through the Christmas period without running some kind of seasonal offer or promotion. For some businesses, such as retail businesses, there are some obvious avenues to take when devising seasonal offers. These promotions don’t have to be anything more complicated than running a multi-buy offer, or even straight discounts on suitable products. However, for other types of business, such as a cafe, you might need to get more creative. Christmas-themed cookies and mince pies are reliable performers over Christmas, for example.
Ensure Adequate Staffing
Perhaps the only thing more disastrous than running out of key stock over Christmas is finding yourself unable to properly staff your business. Without adequate staffing levels, it won’t matter how much stock you have, you will find yourself struggling to shift it. If you are in any doubt about whether you have the necessary manpower to deliver a stellar performance over Christmas, temporary staffing is often the most efficient solution. For example, Staff Heroes temp recruitment service can help you temporarily expand your staffing levels.
Even with all the right preparations, you can never prepare for every single eventuality. As well as doing as much as you can to make things go smoothly, you also need to prepare for those plans to fall short, or for factors beyond your control to change the landscape before you. Ensuring that you have prepared your stock and staffing levels will go a long way to providing you with a safety net should things go wrong, but every business will also have its own unique set of potential mishaps that you need to account for.
As long as you follow the above advice, and make sure to apply your common sense and best business instincts, preparing for Christmas doesn’t need to be difficult. Businesses that take the time to prepare beforehand are the ones that really benefit from the Christmas rush.