Why you should start preparing for Christmas now. Yes, really.
Christmas is a really wonderful time, full of food, fun, frolicking and festivities. For business owners, it can either be a really busy time or can be a time for you to focus on your 2018 business plan and asses your year so far. This is generally dependant on your industry. Boutiques, gift shops and tack shops often experience their best time in the 6-8 weeks before Christmas. Whereas businesses offering services may not notice this seasonal rush. Whichever bracket you fall into, it’s time to prepare.
Yes, I know it’s still 5 months until the big day, however that will certainly fly around. While we’re all out enjoying the Sun, going to events, visiting country fairs & enjoying long walks, time is rapidly getting away from us! And there’s no time like the present to start the Christmas planning.
To help you plan and enjoy a successful and fun Christmas time, I’ve created a few notes to focus your mind.
- Does your business have products which may make good Christmas gifts? Yes? Then you need to start your social media campaign at the beginning of October, at the latest. Customers are more savvy than ever, scouring the internet for great gifts at even greater prices. We’re all so time-short so online shopping is bigger than ever before. Customers may start searching online months before, hoping to spread the costs of their purchases. Get your website up to date, ensure you have your Christmas gift listings ready to go and superb quality imagery to go with them.
- Blog. If you have a blog, use it! It’s a great way of showcasing what you have. If you have a store with a nice selection of items, why not start with a feature on ‘Gifts For Her’? The following week, ‘Gifts For Him’. You could even do ‘Gifts Under £10’ and ‘Gifts Under £25’ etc. Customers need easiness and this will certainly help that!
- Plan your Social Media. The shorter days, last minute rush and potential (fingers crossed) manic time will result in your Social Media getting left behind. It’s always the way! So, why not schedule the key points now? Opening times of your shop, the closed period, Christmas wishes to customers & staff and what you have in store for 2018. This can all be scheduled months in advance. If you know what products you’ll have in stock over the Festive period, why not schedule some sales posts now?
- Will you be taking time off? Christmas is one of those times when it’s really socially acceptable to close down. I took 2 weeks off last year and thoroughly enjoyed it! Obviously, if there is an urgent matter, I’m always on the end of the phone. But not doing the every day tasks of Social Media Management, Emailing and Website Management really gave me the break I needed. That being said, you still need to be reactive, responding to any Facebook messages, tweets and Instagram comments, but that really needn’t be a hassle. I came back to work in January feeling totally refreshed. It’s so healthy for you to do so – see my blog post on ‘Making Me Time’ here.
- How did you find the Christmas period last year? Work on it! If you didn’t sell as much of something as you would have liked, work on it for this year. If it’s your first Christmas in business, speak to other business owners. There’s some great networking groups on Facebook and Twitter with business owners who would be willing to share their top tips and advice.
- Do you offer a service which is often at the back of peoples minds in the mad rush to Christmas? Why not share an offer where your customers can get a certain deal if they book in December ready for January? Offer them a percentage off a service if they book by Christmas for work carried out in January. Not only will this help your cash flow in the run up to Christmas, but will help you plan for January, a particularly quiet time across all industries.
- Enjoy it! It only happens once a year, and will fly around then fly past again, all in the blink of an eye. But if you plan extensively, it’ll all pay off. Stick to your plans and HAVE A BALL!