Christmas is a commercialised holiday celebrated by many of the Western-world annually by gift giving, present unwrapping, sprout eating (personal favourite), Christmas story-telling, and being with loved ones. So grab a glass of mulled wine, get cosy by the warm fire and read on to find out how you can thrive as a small business, this Christmas.
There is no one way about it – Christmas affects small businesses in a host of different ways. Some businesses see it as a period of serious money-making, whilst others see it as a significant slum in sales. Because of this, there is not one solution that can be applied for all businesses out there. However, I can make sure you are prepared as a company to maximise profits and increase cash flow this Christmas and New Year.
Are you prepared?
Start by looking back at how the business has performed during the Christmas period over the last couple of years. How did the impact of the holiday season affect customers, clients or suppliers? Did they have a close-down period? Did you ramp up your marketing beforehand?
For those businesses who see no or little turnover during Christmas, make sure that you have started to devise a business plan for the New Year in order to maximise profits as quickly and efficiently as possible, to make up for the loss over the festive period. The truth is, most businesses go into sleep mode over Christmas, with annual leave booked to spend time with the family, bank holidays dotted here, there and everywhere…. the more planned you are, the better. Get ahead of other companies and ensure you have a strategy to follow throughout the year with clear goals of what you would like to achieve.
Once you have this plan in place, start to roll out advertising and promoting your services or products straight after Christmas, and into the New Year. You need to consider whether you will be buying into the sales promotions at the start of the year, or whether this will do more damage than good due to the losses over Christmas.
Keep up to date on your companies’ social media by interacting with clients, suppliers and potential customers. Join in with discussions and ensure an online presence. Write blog posts letting your audience know what you have been up to, running competitions or promoting products, making sure you keep your website up to date at all times.
Plan an event
A new year, a new business diary. Why not plan an event for your clients and potential customers at the start of the New Year? It is a great way to catch up with one another, plus incentives like discounts with the company at events such as an award evening or an auction for charity will promote a lot of interest, especially if shared on social media platforms or in the local press.
Send out Christmas cards
A tip for all business owners over Christmas – whether printed or electronic (e-cards), Christmas cards are a great idea to send out to your clients and suppliers, as not only do they look good and show you value their services, but they also remind your clients of what you do and who you are, especially when going into a new year. The benefits of E-cards in particular are that they are not costly and are easy to create, and can be sent to your marketing lists with a click of a button. Make sure you include your up to date contact number and thank them for their services over the past year.
Remember though, the more personal the better, so don’t underestimate sitting in front of the fire and hand writing cards to your clients AND your suppliers.
But the most important thing is – enjoy yourself and keep positive. Enthusiasm and passion for the work you do encourages others to want to be a part of what you do.