Christmas can be a tricky time for small businesses. Either it’s your busiest period of the year and you’re rushed off your feet with barely time to pause for a prawn vol-au-vent, or maybe it’s your quietest season and you’re wondering how to make ends meet until normal service resumes.
Taking the time to plan ahead and come up with some strategies to see you through whatever the season has in store, can help make the difference between a Christmas cracker and a festive flop.
How to survive this Christmas
With the best will in the world, Christmas is not a roaring season for every business. There are certain industries that naturally go quiet come December. If you know this, then it’s worth planning the rest of the year accordingly if possible to give you that extra breathing space at Christmas time.
If it is quiet then why not use that time to set some goals, plan some marketing strategies and tie up all those loose ends ready to hit the ground running in 2018?
Dare we say it, you could even spend some time with the family and take a well-deserved break? Many small business owners find it difficult to switch off or take proper time out, but having a good rest and recharging the batteries can be crucial to your personal and commercial success.
How to thrive this Christmas
If Christmas is your busiest season, then do it with all the trimmings – especially if this is where you make most of your money.
Think of some initiatives or strategies that can maximise income. It’s a competitive time amongst seasonal businesses, so it’s worth trying to stand out from the crowd.
Whether you’re a seasonal business looking to make the most out of Christmas, or you want to boost a traditionally quiet time, here are a few ideas to hopefully get you ho-ho-ho-ing into the holidays.
Bargains with bells on – Christmas is not easy on the wallet and everyone is after a bargain, so be sure to give it to them. Discount days, two-for-ones offers or significantly knocking down the price of one item can be enough to get people through the door and buying more.
Marketing madness – Use social media and other forms of advertising to promote your offers. How about a 12 days of Christmas promotion, with a new offer each day, or an advert calendar concept throughout December inviting people to see what’s behind the door each day? This could be a discount, a free gift with purchases over a certain amount or even as simple as a minced pie for every customer that day.
These promotions needn’t be limited to retailers and restaurants either, whether it’s carpet cleaning or financial advice, you can still offer discounts, or even business tips, to get some orders in the books during your quieter times.
Festive fun – We all like to celebrate at Christmas and will usually take any excuse to do it. Christmas-themed events can be a great way of bringing in more business. If you own a restaurant or food business, dinner or breakfast with Santa events go down a treat, or why not arrange some cooking classes – making Rudolph biscuits or Christmas cupcakes perhaps? If you own a shop, then maybe offer late-night opening with minced pies and mulled wine?
These events can also work for businesses outside the retail and hospitality sectors. If you’re in professional services, you could organise some ‘planning for 2018’ sessions (with minced pies and mulled wine) to help people get ahead for the New Year.
The possibilities are endless. But whatever happens, remember to take time out and enjoy the festivities, and if the nature of your business means this isn’t possible, then be sure to give yourself and your staff a knees-up to remember in the New Year.
Merry Christmas from all the team at FaB Networking with FindaBiz!