How to get your business ready for Christmas
For many businesses, Christmas is the busiest time of the year. It’s the chance to grow your customer base, launch new products and capitalise on the Christmas consumer spirit –– be it for presents, Christmas parties or holidays.
But to make the most of the season, it's important to plan ahead. Amid the end-year-rush, it is easy to lose sight of the small details that can turn a busy season into a profitable one.
To make sure this season is your most successful, here are some tips on how to get your business ready for Christmas.
Understand your market
Just as Santa has a list of who’s naughty and nice, it’s a good idea to start thinking about who you want to target. Will it be the toy-loving children or the time-poor executives? Remember Christmas means something different to everyone. By understanding their personal needs, you can better utilise the magic of Christmas to offer your customers something they really want. That might mean special promotions for expats away from home, longer opening hours for busy parents, or free delivery for those who can’t bear the crowds. This personalised approach will reflect in your end-of-year profits.
Deck the halls
Embracing the silly season also means dressing the part. Consider creating new web banners, a temporary Merry Christmas landing page or Santa-inspired social media headers and photos. Depending on your business, you might want to create an in-store winter wonderland or dress up your staff as elves. The idea is to create a Christmas experience that will lure customers in — be it to a website, an online store or the shop itself. Keep in mind that it is the small details that count — the coffee shop that puts reindeer-shaped foam in your coffee, the surprise candy cane in your shopping bag.
Christmas is the perfect opportunity to build loyalty with your target market. It’s the pretext to send a Christmas EDM, offer new promotions or invite customers to subscribe. It’s also a chance for your business to connect with your customers on a real and personal level. Maybe you share a recipe for a cheeky eggnog cocktail or hand out Santa colouring pages. Ask yourself how your business can reach out and provide value-add Christmas experiences. This will lead to higher sales, increase your number of return customers and improve your word-of-mouth marketing.
Prepare for the rush
To prepare for Christmas, you also need to think about the broader logistics. Managing staff for instance, needs careful consideration. If your business needs extra seasonal workers, make sure you give yourself enough time to run proper background checks and provide training. Mixing casual employees with full time staff is one way of maintaining your level of customer service. Given the risk of potential disruptions — power outages, supply and chain breakdowns, delayed deliveries — you may also want to think about business interruption insurance. As the busiest time of the year, it is a good idea to protect your business from any loss of income.