Are you ready for Christmas? In your personal life, you will be busy preparing for the festive season, perhaps stocking up your pantry with fruit and mince pies, and getting your home ready for your Christmas visitors. And then there's the present buying, tree decorating, and so on and so on. It's a busy time!
Of course, if you run a business, your time will be busier than ever! Especially if your business is geared towards the purses and wallets of festive shoppers, then you do need to prepare yourself. In the run-up to Christmas then, here are twelve ways (over twelve days) to get your business Christmas ready.
Day 1: Give your website a festive makeover
For starters, ensure your website is fit for purpose. Get rid of any broken links, ensure pages open as they should, and tweak anything that needs changing. And then go for the Christmas feel, perhaps updating your logo and text with festive coloured fonts, as well as implementing some of the Christmas web designs found here. Then adjust your shipping schedule to account for the Christmas rush, and alter your product pricing to boost your Christmas profits.
Day 2: Organise your Christmas promotions
To stand out in the hearts and minds of Christmas shoppers everywhere, do something that will attract them over to your side. You might want to offer a freebie with every purchase, for example, or you may want to include special deals for returning customers. There are all kinds of Christmas promotion ideas here, so have a look, and choose something that suits your business model. Add these ideas to your website, and then pay attention to the next point.
Day 3: Spread the word
Don't let the work you have put into your website and promotions go to waste. Let people know about them, spreading the word on all of your social media channels. Provide a link to your website, and encourage your followers to pass on news of what you are offering to all of their followers too!
Day 4: Get in touch with past customers
You can get in touch with customers on social media, but as a special treat (and a reminder to return to you), why not send them an inexpensive gift as a thank you for their past custom. We favour Dynamicgift for this, so visit their website and choose something within your price range. Alternatively, send your customers a festively themed e-card, with news of your special offers and promotions attached.
Day 5: Reach new customers
You need to market your business for customers who haven't previously heard of you, so using your regular marketing methods, spread the word. If you need ideas, then consider taking out an ad in local media to promote your business, and for SEO purposes, use these tips to fit in with those Google searches that people will be making over Christmas. And offer existing customers an incentive to spread the word on your behalf to further market your business.
Day 6: Look at your competitors
You aren't the only one looking to boost your income for Christmas, so keep a watchful eye over your business rivals to see what they are up to. What are they doing to appeal to customers? Have they altered their prices in time for the season? Visit their website and/or retail store, check out what they are doing, and then take steps to go one better than them. It's hardly within the Christmas spirit we know, but you don't want to lose business, do you?
Day 7: Think about your staff
If you have any staff in your employ, then remember to reward them. You might want to hold a party for them, take them out for a meal, and/or give them a gift that is personal to each team member. While you will be keen to make savings, this is the time for giving, so consider the expense a useful one. Your staff will be happy if you do, and they will work even harder for you because of their boosted morale. Profits should rise as a result.
Day 8: Hire temporary workers
To accommodate the extra business of the season, it may be a good idea to hire extra staff. Hire temporary staff if needed, and/or outsource some of your regular tasks to freelancers. You will need somebody to help you with the added workload, and again, despite the expense, it is a useful one as you may generate more money because of the extra help you have acquired.
Day 9: Organise training
If you are taking on more people, they will need to be trained. Think about the tasks they will be taking on, consider such things as health and safety in the workplace, and have a training programme ready for their induction.
Day 10: Go Christmas shopping
Do you need any extra supplies over the Christmas period? From office to manufacturing items, get everything you need in advance. If the weather turns worse, you may have issues with sourcing what you need from your regular suppliers, so don't get caught out. You may have some very unhappy customers on your hands otherwise!
Day 11: Make savings
We hope you make a profit, but considering the various expenses that will need to be covered over the season - gifts, extra heating, added supplies - you need to make savings where possible. Shop around for a cheaper utility provider, find a cheaper supplier, and use any of these money saving ideas to help you stay even over the Christmas period.
Day 12: Plan for your time off
Remembering your work-life balance, you don't want to spend all of your time working over Christmas. Do what you need to do to allow for your downtime, such as hiring extra staff to cover your hours, and sending out a message to let your customers know when you won't be open. Christmas will be busy, and you do want to make as much money as possible, but this shouldn't be at the expense of your family or your personal health.
You don't have to follow what we said in the order we gave you, and you don't need to spread them out over twelve days. However, take note of each suggestion and implement them in time for Christmas! Thanks for reading, and whatever you are doing this season, we hope you have a wonderful and prosperous time!