Whether Christmas is the most profitable time of year for your business or you’re choosing to close for the festive period, last-minute planning can be stressful, and things are sure to go wrong. Here are seven things to keep in mind.

1. Identify your staffing needs

If your business is remaining open over Christmas you may need additional staff, especially if regular employees want to take Christmas and New Year leave. Plan your staffing needs early and make sure your seasonal staff are properly trained and prepared for the shopping frenzy. The best way to ensure your staffing needs are right is to look at previous years as well as companies of similar size.

The festive period can be very stressful, especially for new staff so look into how you can boost employee morale. This could include activities such as Secret Santa and Christmas parties.

2. Stay organised

Remaining motivated throughout the festive season comes from making sure there are minimal hiccups and everyone’s on the same page. Identify what tasks can be done in advance and make an action plan to tackle them. These could include setting your holiday opening hours and sales goals, and thinking of your payroll requirements.

If your business closes over Christmas, take care of the things you’ve been putting off and consider investing in new software. You can take this time to familiarise yourself with the program in time for when your employees come back to work.

3. Inventory levels

There’s nothing worse than running out of stock so estimate (not guesstimate) your inventory needs. Refer back to previous Christmases for a clear idea of stock needs and be careful not to over or under order.

Aside from your actual products, remember to check the levels of other holiday supplies such as gift wrapping, gift cards and seasonal decorations. Try talking to your supplier about bulk ordering items at a discounted price. Get in touch with your suppliers early as they will be busy making similar arrangements with other companies.

4. Review your online platforms

When your website traffic increases during the festive period, the last thing you want is for it to have glitches as this can put potential customers off and cause you to miss out on a sale. Make sure your information is up to date and that your website is easy to use. Ask yourself whether your most popular products are easy to find and how smooth your checkout process is. You may need to increase your online presence as you receive more enquiries so make sure your customer service is responsive and you have accurate delivery times.

5. Consider a holiday-focused marketing campaign

Get into the Christmas spirit by decorating your store or office and get your employees involved in the process. Think about personalised Christmas promotions for loyal customers as well as designated landing pages for Christmas content.

Make social media your best friend by showing your audience how you’re enjoying the festive season. You could increase your social media following by holding Christmas giveaways or by sending personalised emails to your customers with special promotions.

Other marketing ideas could include holiday gift guides, printed Christmas cards and wrapping, and creating a memorable unboxing experience for your customers.

6. Plan your cash flow over the Christmas period

Make sure you have adequate funds over Christmas and take into consideration that if you need quick access to funds during the festive period you may have difficulties. Plan your cash flow in advance and consider what your needs are. Weigh up whether your plans for renovations or upgrades can wait till the new year.

7. Make sure you have a break too

Most business owners forget this important step so take this time to recharge and refresh.

Need a little help with your Christmas preparations?

Our financial experts are here to make sure you have a smooth transitional period over Christmas. Get in touch with us today with any questions.