The Last Minute Holiday Season Checklist For Businesses
The festive season is fast approaching, but this exciting time can be a stressful time for small business owners. There’s a lot of pressure around that comes with running a business at this time of the year, from heightened customer service expectations to demands for fast shipping, to other unknowns that might arise like a technical glitch on your website.
The key to meeting this moment is preparation and whilst most businesses have already thought about everything they need to to ensure success over the holiday season, there might be a few stragglers running around like headless chickens.
We have put together a quick last-minute checklist to consider as an absolute must for your business during the break, to help you out;
Marketing & Communications
If you haven’t already, decide on the Christmas & New Year offers you want to give your customers to increase sales. Think about what offers have worked well in the past. Offering discount vouchers is a typical customer acquisition strategy. During the holiday season, consumers are particularly receptive to great offers. Vouchers can provide undecided shoppers with an additional incentive to shop with you!
Whether you’re offering discounts, gift cards or vouchers, make sure you’re promoting the offer across all your channels; website, social media, emails and also word of mouth when speaking to customers. If customers are not aware of any special offers, they may not consider shopping with you at all. You can even use offers as a lucrative way to get a hesitant customer over the line, so don’t ignore the power of special offers!
Many businesses have special holiday trading hours over the break. Your customers are also likely to be shopping more often and will expect extended hours. Ensure that hours are up to date on your business’s website and on social media. If you are planning to open early or close late, promote the news on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to let your customers know.
Inventory & Cash Flow
Determine your best selling & most popular items from the year before so you can ensure that you’re stocked up on that inventory this year to maximise sales. Consider any other purchase orders that need to placed to ensure no stock-outs leading up to or following Christmas and New Year.
Chase debtors to maximise cash flow during the holiday period. Don’t get too relaxed or lazy, otherwise, you may not get paid on time which will have a negative impact on your cash flow.
Similarly, think about how you can manage your own cash flow if you’re putting in last-minute purchase orders, have to keep up with payroll commitments and other expenses during the influxes of the holiday season.
Do you have enough working capital to stay on top of all your business needs or do you need additional finance to support you through this busy season?
If you do require additional funding but unsure about your options, chat to one of our lending specialists on 1300 760 930 or submit an enquiry here to discuss your business needs. We can assist you with funds approved and in your account within 24 hours!
Having your employee roster completed well in advance is crucial to keeping staff management under control. Ask everyone to submit their Christmas availability in advance and have a shortlist of backup employees on hand. This will prepare you for unforeseen emergencies.
Ensure your team is set up for success and that expectations for sales, customer service and rostering are well understood. Hold more employee engagement initiatives between now and end of the year. Some team members will likely be less motivated in the lead up to the Christmas shutdown or lacking energy. Keep them motivated and productive (and yourself!).
January is traditionally one of the best times to recruit and that’s because of the whole “new year, new me” vibe. Candidates are looking for new opportunities, and therefore, companies are often forced to try and find replacements.
So even if you don’t want to actually recruit people in December, you should definitely spend the time preparing for the busy month ahead by getting the g-ahead from key decision-makers and writing up the relevant job description so you’re ready to advertise beginning of January.
One final bonus tip….Take care of yourself!!!
This can be a gruelling time of year to be running a small business, especially given the global pandemic, but don’t let the holidays be a joyless experience. Make sure you are able to make time for yourself to take a mental break, recharge and reset, ready to kick start the new year!