For many parents this week is another milestone in the diary. Kids going back to school after the summer break marks the point where we all start preparing for Christmas.
If you are a business owner, it’s important that you start planning early. Last year was not the Christmas that many wanted it to be, and we have a suspicion that many will want to make up for it this year.
Christmas is an important time for us all, it’s when families get together. Families that may not see each other all year round and maybe for some this has been longer than a year. We are all desperate to reunite and make Christmas 2021 one to remember.
Christmas is a busy time of the year for every business which is the main reason why preparing your strategy for the holiday period in advance is important.
If you haven’t already, it’s time to start thinking about festive business. Preparation pays dividends and an investment of time, effort and cash will come back in the form of increased profits, lower stress levels and, in general, a very merry Christmas.
Preparation for success
Preparing for Christmas is something people either love or hate. Even if you don’t like the festive season it’s something your business needs to plan for. This doesn’t have to be a concrete day to day plan. However, it should cover what you are going to do to increase sales over the Christmas period and how your business will achieve this. A few things this could include is planning things such as special Christmas offers, having unique Christmas marketing content. In addition, having the right budget for seasonal marketing and advertising and much more.
Why prepare now?
One reason why your business should plan is so that clients are aware of what you are doing over the Christmas period before your competitors. This is important for example if you are a restaurant and are having a special event over Christmas, it’s important to let people know asap.
More time for other jobs
If you don’t prepare for the Christmas period early, then it means that when the time comes you will be stressed about everything. So, preparing in advance and having a plan of action will mean you and your business will have more time to concentrate on other things. For example, like making sure customer service is at a high standard and other important factors.
Preparing for Christmas to avoid the chaos!
It is also important to plan and take time to look at last year’s results, firstly to try and improve on these so your business grows. But also, reviewing the previous year’s Christmas period will ensure you have enough stock for an influx of sales. Planning this will reduce stress and save you time in the future.
If, for you, Christmas is the busiest time of year, then consider how you’ll steer customers through your door. Then make sure you have enough stock to sell them and calculate whether you need extra resources – whether that means investing in equipment or people – to make it all happen smoothly.
Plan holidays collectively
It doesn’t make sense to have one person, approving or disapproving alone in his or her office. Instead, engage your entire team in working through the problem together. It’s messier, but it brings the process out into the daylight. You must make sure the message is that you value holidays and you want everybody to enjoy them. If everyone feels that they’re solving the problems jointly as a team – and that the team will help ensure they get their time off, too – you’ll usually find people willing to step up to make things work.
Consider a rota system
Use a list to determine who gets to choose their days off first. Next year, the top couple of people go to the bottom of the list, and so on, so that everyone tops the list over time.
Take holiday yourself!
As a business owner, remember, there are no small gestures. Business owners who think they convey the idea that holidays are important for team members, while neglecting their own, have the opposite effect. It’s very important for leaders to set the standard. I’ve heard so many business owners say, ‘I support a healthy lifestyle for my team, it’s just that I, personally, am a workaholic.’ But doing that increases anxiety in your team. It suggests that people who put in longer hours are more committed than those who don’t. It’s so insidious. Everyone, including you, will be better off if your team know that you care about their long-term well-being.
Your Christmas break
It’s likely that any emails you receive over Christmas aren’t going to be urgent and won’t require an immediate response from a member of your team. Most other businesses will also be shut down over this period so if you work in the B2B market, it’s likely that you won’t even come back to that many.
Remember to set up automated replies for all your emails, not just your personal but also any support@ emails or anything a client could use to contact you. This informs your clients that you’re not in the office, but also when they can expect someone to reply to their email.
The same goes for your social media, this tends to be used a little more when it comes to B2C companies, so is crucial if you operate in this field. You can set auto-responders on your social media, so when someone messages your page they will be alerted that nobody is monitoring the messages or page until your return.
Another thing you may want to consider is scheduling social posts to go out throughout your time off to remind people that your office is shut over the festive period with the dates and information of your return. This can prevent you from returning to lots of unread messages.
Here we share some further tips for making sure your return is smooth and simple.
Do you need support with additional staff over Christmas?
If you would like a free 30 min consultation to find out how we can help you to increase your sales pipeline, please contact us.