Considering the events of 2020, we are very lucky that in Australia, preparing your small business for Christmas is still on the cards. It can be an overwhelming time of year for business owners. Between coping with an avalanche of orders and making sure Santa visits your own home, things can get a tad ahh…hectic. So, rather than running around like a headless elf, let’s get you casually sipping that cold one and snacking on gingerbread men while packing orders. Christmas for small business can be cruisey, we promise!
Here are our 7 tips for preparing your small business for Christmas.
7 Tips For Preparing Your Small Business For Christmas
1. Check your inventory
Picture this, you’re halfway through putting together your gift sets only to discover you’re 4 jars short of the Bailey’s scented mini candles – shitake mushrooms! These situations can truly throw a spanner in the works when time is running short, or you don’t even have what is needed to make more of that missing product. It’s so important that you check your inventory as early as possible to ensure that if you don’t have enough stock to accommodate the influx of orders, then you at least have time to restock.
2. Establish your Christmas schedule
In business, processes can look a lot different during Christmas. The postie tends to take a little longer, opening hours change and somewhere in there we do need to fit in a little R&R. Go and chat with your postal service to establish an expectation on Christmas delivery times, and if there will be an increase in drop offs. That way you can share with your customers specific dates to get their orders in by so that they have guaranteed delivery for Christmas. This minimises the odds of unhappy customers eagerly waiting for their delivery on Christmas eve.
If you are extending your opening hours, let your customers know ahead of time. On the other hand, if you’re closing up for some well-deserved rest over the Christmas period, let your customers know. This will help both you and your customers’ plan.
3. Plan your Christmas marketing campaign
It’s time to show off that magical Christmas range you’ve been working hard on for months! There are endless ways you can do this. Whether it be through a gift guide, partnering with other small businesses, running paid ads, pumping out beautiful photos and videos of those products or running a giveaway.
Don’t forget to get your customers involved. Show the behind the scenes snippets of you making your products on your stories or even on Instagram reels. Regardless of whether you have new Christmas edition products or not, now is the time to ramp up your marketing.
4. Make sure you and your staff can keep up with anticipated demand
Christmas is at the same time every year, right? We know how busy it can get. While you may be comfortable as a one or two person team throughout the year, an extra set of hands could really make a difference over Christmas. The easiest way to do this is to hire a Christmas casual. Whether it’s a uni student looking for a few extra hours over the Summer break, or a high school student keen on some cash to spend on their holidays. Getting a junior on board over the Summer will be well worth the small investment. Think of all the tasks you could be working on while they pack orders, race to the post office or even man the market stall!
5. Get your online store in order
Let’s not run the risk of your website chucking a full wobbly right when a customer is about to commit to a cart full of your products. There are several sites you can use to conduct a free site audit. Though if your website is only small this can definitely be done yourself. After you’ve published all your gorgeous Christmas range on your site, jump into your customers shoes. Browse your online store and run through the entire purchasing journey. By doing this, you will pick up on any errors, broken links or things that need improving before your Christmas launch begins.
6. Does your Insurance cover your Christmas range?
Hmmm, did you check this before adding new products to your Christmas launch? Whatever products were listed by your Insurer as a supported product when you applied for your Insurance is what you’re covered for. So, if your candy cane scented diffusers have never been in your product range previously, don’t assume it’s covered. You could end up in hot water. Checking in with your Insurer will only take a few minutes that could save you in the long run.
7. Schedule in that down time to eat and get merry
We’ve said it before but we will say it again – You’re a business owner, not a superhero. Well… I guess you do have some superpowers driving your business through the year that was! In all seriousness, don’t forget that it is Christmas after all. Don’t feel guilty about closing orders early to ensure you will get Christmas day with your loved ones. And don’t go working so much that by the time you sit down at the Christmas table, Aunt Leah has already devoured the last piece of pavlova.