Top 10 tips for the festive season

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! You may be wondering where this year has gone and not quite ready for the silly season, but the supermarkets have been stocking fruit mince pies and Christmas decorations for a while now.

How do you best prepare for the festive season? See our top tips for everything a business should consider before Santa comes to town.

 1. Assess your staffing situation

Christmas is the busiest period of the year for many small businesses, and it is reasonable to assume you’ll need additional staff, especially as regular employees may want to take leave over the Christmas/New Year period. Plan your staffing needs early. Consider asking a recruitment agency for temp support over the peak period.

 2. Prepare your Christmas wages 

Christmas through to January is the time of year when most of us go on holidays. Is your payroll set up to ensure everyone on your team gets remunerated as they should over the festive season?

Do you know who’s going on holiday and requires holiday pay?    

 3. Closing the office? 

If you are shutting the doors, whether it’s just for a few days or a couple of weeks, you need to let people know. Include your Christmas trading hours on your website, email signature, social media and if applicable on your front door. 

Email your suppliers, contractors, customers and clients with your trading dates. Provide contact information in case of an emergency, where appropriate. Make sure to send your Christmas email nice and early so that everyone you do business with can plan around the closure.

 4. Stock extra inventory

Anticipate holiday orders by manufacturing additional product or placing orders with your vendors. Your suppliers are under their own pressure, and they may have ordering deadlines to get product to you in time for the holidays. Mark these deadlines on a calendar so you can see easily and these ordering deadlines don’t pass you by.

5. Using social media

During the Christmas time this is crucial, and will get you great results if done well. It’s one of the easiest ways of connecting with potential customers, and a great way of spreading the festive cheer as well as keeping your customers up-to-date on your latest offers or products. 

 6. Check your website

Give your business website a once-over to make sure it’s ready for a busy holiday season. Is the design tidy and easy to use? Can customers easily find your most popular products or services? Does your ecommerce checkout work smoothly? If you’re the person who works on your website most often, hand this task to a staffer or a trusted friend. They’ll be able to spot any issues you might miss.

7. Spread the festive cheer 

The end of year is a great time to say thank you to your clients, supply chain and your staff. Don’t forget to spread the festive cheer. Whether it’s holding a Christmas event for clients, Christmas party for your employees, or just sending a personal email or picking up the phone, don’t forget to say thank you to the people who’ve helped you throughout the year. 

8. Decorate

Even if you feel like the Grinch when it comes to holidays, add a little extra flair to help stand out from the crowd during this busy season.

9. Christmas Party Policy

If you are planning to reward your team with a Christmas party it is sensible to set a code of conduct for how you expect the team to behave.  Stories abound of how previously mild-mannered employees and managers took the opportunity to let their hair down just a little too far.

Rather than making it a stock-standard, dry document, try and have some fun with the wording. Staff will be much more likely to actually read and understand it. Consider discussing the party policy at a meeting, detailing what you expect, and enlist the support of everybody to ensure the event goes well.

10. Plan for the future 

Take some time to think about what your business will look like in 2021, what improvements can be made, what are your goals?  Dust off your business plan and have a look at it. What’s your 12-month strategy? What’s your five-year plan? Now’s a great time to sit down and think about the future.

 Don’t have a business plan or unsure where to start? Give us a call and we can help make these dreams become a reality.