Regardless of whether your business is service or retail based, December is a notoriously busy time.
For retailers there’s the pre-Christmas rush as orders are filled, gifts are bought and people stock up for the holidays. For service-based business the push is on to accomplish the necessary tasks before the welcome break of the Christmas period.
Meanwhile, for tourism and hospitality, there will be very little break at all with the next few weeks the busiest of the year.
As your business gears up for the festive season, here’s what you should be considering…
If your business is large enough to have staff, the next few weeks will draw on them heavily, and they need to be well-prepared. This is the time to reiterate your customer service ethos, to ensure all training is up to date and double check that any holiday casuals have the skills they need to represent your business well.
It’s an opportunity to ensure your processes, policies, and procedures are current, adequate and clearly encompass all that you do.
Should you, as the business owner, be taking a break over the festive season, these policies and procedure will be particularly pertinent, allowing your staff to understand what happens when and how the chain of command operates.
Between pre-Christmas sales and the Boxing Day retail bonanza, the season of giving is a gift indeed for retailers.
Now is the time to ensure all your stock is ordered, accounted for, and correctly catalogued and stored, while loss prevention measures should also be in place.
This year might also be the opportunity to gauge how effective your stock handling procedures are and to investigate whether greater automation or new stock-keeping technology might be beneficial.
If your business is shutting down at all over the festive season, now is the time to notify clientele of any closures. This information should be included on your website and email correspondence and perhaps even advertised in the local paper, if relevant.
On the subject of Christmas correspondence, a little appreciation marketing goes a long way. The next few weeks offer the opportunity to thank your valued customers for their patronage over the past year, while outlining any new services or incentives that may currently be available.
And while we’re talking appreciation, how will you be thanking your staff for their hard work over the past year? Whether it’s a cash bonus or a gift, the simple act of saying thank you for a job well-done can have a very real impact on staff morale.
Although the season may be busy, and time in short supply, keeping track of your numbers over the Christmas period is imperative.
The end of December marks the date for second BAS of this financial year and also heralds the half-way point for 2018/19. How are you tracking against previous years, and what are your numbers telling you in terms of what’s working and what’s not?
A Welcome Break
Finally, business owners should be considering how they will take the time to regroup and re-energise over the Christmas period. If now is not the time you will step away from business to enjoy some downtime, then you should be actively planning for when and how that will occur next year.
Too often small business owners fail to take the time to look after themselves and enjoy a break from their business.
The reality is, those who do seize the opportunity to relax come back refreshed, reinvigorated and with a new perspective of the lifestyle and income goals they need their business to meet.
On that note, I’d like to personally wish everyone a Merry Christmas and prosperous festive season. Should you be considering new business goals and resolutions for 2019, I’m available to assist and can be contacted here.