Christmas is coming – Is your business prepared?
What’s your biggest business challenge in the run up to Christmas?
It’s Christmas…. well very nearly! A fun, busy and exciting time of year for many small businesses, Christmas can provide the end-of-year bumper sales boost that many look forward to. The run up to the big day can add a few extra pressures but nothing that can’t be overcome.
Do you have the stock to meet the demand of the festive shoppers?
Christmas quite often sees a sharp increase in demand in the retail and hospitality sectors, which is great news for your business income! Maximise this seasonal joy by making sure your stock levels stack up. The challenge is ensuring you’ve got the funds to make the purchases. Plan early and double check last year’s December trading to get a good idea of the stock levels you’ll need this year.
Have you got the staff to cover those busy shifts?
Sometimes you just need a few extra ‘elves’ around to help with a particularly busy time. It is an expense hiring additional staff, but worth it knowing your customers will have the excellent level of service you would to like to provide. Plus, don’t forget the ‘elves’ you already have – some may want to do a few extra shifts spreading the Christmas cheer. It’s always a bonus if your existing staff are able to do a little bit of overtime to help with the festive-filled hectic days.
Meeting Customers’ Christmas Expectations
At a particularly stressful time, will your customer service excel?
Make sure your customer service is full of season’s greetings! It can be tricky navigating the demands of both suppliers and customers. There are bound to be a couple of glitches along the way, but keeping a good level of communication is key. A customer who is impressed with your service in the Christmas rush may become a returning customer in the new year. Customers are for life not just for Christmas!
Can you deliver on time?
Everything must be wrapped and under the tree for the big day – 25th December! That means that all gifts need to be delivered on time, ready for the celebrations.
For all businesses tasked with Christmas deliveries, it’s best to be really clear about your latest delivery cut-off dates. You don’t want your sleigh to break down at the last-minute causing delivery chaos, so give yourself a few days extra to meet the last post dates!
Have you got a little bit set aside for the extras?
Whatever the time of year, cash flow problems can always pop up! At Christmas, there’s generally an increase in business expenditure which can mean a business is looking for that little bit of extra cash. As well as staff and stock, there’s also a staff Christmas party to pay for! Short term funding can be a great solution to help to ease this pressure. Read our ‘Solving cash flow problems’ blog for a few more top tips!
For a small business owner, Christmas is a non-stop, exhilarating time of year. Identify your potential challenges early on and put plans in place to stop them becoming problems.