The festive season is yet to fully hit its stride, but in just a few short weeks, the shops and online space will be packed with holiday revellers looking to secure a good deal. Naturally, this influx of business at large means that enterprise owners need to adapt their operations to be scalable.
However, that can be easier said than done, as after all, the festive period only really lasts for around a month at best. So, what can small business owners do to prepare most effectively for the Christmas season? Here are three top tips:
At Christmas, marketing efforts can be as simple as letting customers come to you.
1. Be gentle with marketing
Small business marketing can be tough at the best of times, as the constant battle of not necessarily having enough brand recognition to truly gain traction can quickly have an impact on any advertising efforts.
However, at Christmas, due to the increased number of customers out there, it can be just as effective to let them come to you. For example, Inc contributor – and owner of Marks Group – Gene Marks explained that sending out festive emails is typically a waste of time and money.
Consumers can be numb to such tactics, and correspondence can come across as impersonal. It's much better to target your small business marketing efforts more specifically, and look to acknowledge and reward the customers and suppliers that have remained most loyal throughout the year.
2. Get staffing right
The increased number of people entering your physical location or pursuing your products in the online space is only a positive if you have the capacity to meet their needs. Consequently, taking on a few extra members of staff across the festive period can be a savvy decision.
Real Business contributor and CEO of Simply Business Jason Stockwood explained that it's best to assess the amount of extra interest that the enterprise could expect over the festive period, and then approach a temping agency to get some cover where it's needed.
3. Double check inventory
A study collated by eBay suggested that 79 per cent of shoppers are likely to change their purchase decisions based on whether a product is in stock or not. In essence, if small business owners can't meet the demand with supply, they could negatively impact their bottom line.
Chief product officer at BrightPearl and contributor to the Guardian Henry Morland explained that fine tuning inventory is a must in the run-up to Christmas, and even stocking up on the most popular offerings that could be a hit across the January sales can prove fruitful.