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How to prepare your business for the Christmas season

Is your business prepared for Christmas? Here are 5 ways you can prepare your business for the upcoming festive season.
How to prepare your business for the Christmas season

If you haven’t already, it’s time to start thinking about how prepared your business is for the festive period. Christmas is the biggest holiday of the whole year . The UK Christmas spending is set to hit £75bn for 2019.

The months leading up to Christmas Day can sometimes be the most profitable for businesses, which means it’s a good idea to prepare and create a plan before the festive season is in full swing. Read on to find out how to prepare your business for Christmas.

Plan for the Christmas chaos

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As many businesses (especially retail and hospitality) experience an influx of customers over the Christmas period, it is important to be prepared. Make sure you have enough stock and staff to cover the busier period, especially when your products or services may be more in demand.

Looking at sales figures from the previous year could help you plan for the upcoming season and ensure you have the right resources and team in place to effectively deliver your product or service. If you need additional members of staff over December, it’s a good idea to source or hire them before you get too busy so that they are well trained and therefore can provide the best possible experience for your customers.

Know postage limits

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If you deliver goods, it’s important to make your last posting dates are clear to your potential customers so they know when to order and expect their deliveries. If you’re looking to offer an incentive for customers to choose you over competitors, why not consider offering free postage and guaranteed pre-Christmas delivery before a particular date.

Next day delivery at an additional cost is another way you may be able to secure the orders of customers who could have delivery concerns - particularly as the big day gets closer. You could find that customers are often willing to pay that little bit extra to get their delivery guaranteed the very next day and avoid a trip to the shops!

This year’s last recommended posting dates are as follows:

  • Wednesday 18th December - 2nd class and 2nd class signed
  • Friday 20th December - 1st class, 1st class signed for and Royal Mail Tracked 48
  • Saturday 21st of December – Royal Mail Tracked 24
  • Monday 3rd of December – Special Delivery Guaranteed

Prepare your Christmas promotions

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When planning for Christmas promotions, it’s a good idea to check lead times when getting stock from your suppliers. Ordering your stock well in advance and creating a plan on how you will promote it can also help the success of your sales and promotions. By having a clear objective of what you would like to achieve in sales over the Christmas shopping period, it may be easier to hit your promotional targets.

Christmas themed social media

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One way to let your customers know you are all ready for Christmas is by posting it on your social media and website. If your business relies heavily on social media for sales, consider revamping it during the festive season to encourage customers to visit your site. This may include having Christmas themed creative on your social media or a Christmas hashtag to represent your business.

Additionally, you may promote festive offers on your social media using a discount code. Promoting a discount code with a wintery theme such as ‘Christmas10’ to indicate 10% off will more likely stick in customers minds for when it comes to their Christmas shopping.

Keep your staff motivated

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Christmas is a fun and relaxing time, but not so much if you are working heavily over the festive season. In order to keep your staff motivated and stress-free, it may be a good idea to organise a Christmas outing or some seasonal fun to keep your employee’s in high spirits.

For example, plan a game of Secret Santa in the workplace or organise a Christmas meal. This way, your staff will know you appreciate the work they’ve put in over the busy periods.

It may also be a good idea to keep your staff well informed of any targets you’re trying to reach. By involving them in this process and regularly praising them, you may see their motivation increase, or at least maintain. Offering commission can also be an effective way of keeping your team motivated and committed during the festive season.

How could Esme help?

If you’re looking for business finance before Christmas, you’re not too late. Here at Esme Loans, we offer almost instantaneous business loans ranging from £10,000* to £250,000. If your application is successful, we’ll aim to send you the money within an hour of approval. Find out more about our Esme Loans and try our business loans calculator here.

*£25,500 for sole traders