How to survive and thrive during the festive season: 5 ways to keep your business up to scratch
Halloween and Bonfire Night are out, and the festive season is in! And with the UK’s seasonal spending reaching up to £77.56 billion in 2016, the Christmas frenzy is a merchant’s holy grail – and we hope your business is prepared to make the most of it. Whether it's in store décor or seasonal events, promotional activity or clever cash flow, the methods are myriad and the benefits plentiful . . . you just need to stay on top of things.
Decoration Celebration: Commercial Considerations
When planning ahead for the festive season, it’s easy to fall into the trap of seasonal dysfunction; with money, stock and trade taking over the most important aspects of Christmas: celebration and revelry! That’s why, when deciding on how to combat seasonal stress and frantic sales, it’s worth planning how to have a bit of fun along the way.
Decorations can be a great way to do this. So whether you’re in retail, catering or health and beauty, you can invite your customers into the perfect festive paradise. Put up tinsel, set up a Christmas tree, surround it with gift ideas and foodstuffs (utensils and recipe books), guide customers around your store with enticing seasonal ornamentation – combining sales with seasonal stock and celebratory frivolity too! A bit of fun can go a long way.
Employee Morale: Dress ‘Em Up
Speaking of fun, it isn’t merely the customer whom your store should intend to keep in high spirits, but your staff too. A mopey salesperson is a poor point of any exchange, but particularly during the Christmas period, so employ some festive fun to keep morale high and customer satisfaction at the forefront of your business etiquette.
You could consider giving out Christmas costumes for your staff to wear. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant but perhaps an elf hat or a Christmas broach to remind people of the time of year. Fun times working and fun times buying. Oh, and sort out your Christmas rota ahead of the game; a disorganised timetable is sure-fire route to failure in seasonal retail.
This is a pretty standard tip but an important one all the same. As a retail store, it’s in your best interest to create buzz around whatever festive plans you have to lure in new and returning customers.
So, establish dates for your Christmas sales in good time; and if you're running a Black Friday event, put up banners displaying when and where the best promotions are to be placed. It can be worth teasing a few upcoming price drops on particular items too - toys and technology are usually a go-to for gift ideas but if you’re in health and beauty it’s all the same. If you’re an e-commerce store, make sure to get those marketing emails sent and those fancy web banners in place. Whatever the case, just get the news out there! Otherwise, no one will know the promotions you sow.
Don’t Lament the Event
Stuck for seasonal event ideas? Why not try running a Twelve Days of Christmas sales event. This could bring in even more fun to the sum and increased footfall to boot. And remember, you can always extend your seasonal promotions outside of the twelve days if you need to further fulfil your estimated sales numbers and maintain that festive spirit.
Another idea could be to run an advent calendar sales plan where each day your reveal a new bargain for the customer’s buck – keeping the hype real and customer retention high.
Clever Cash Flow
With all these tips and tricks to keep your business at its best this festive season, it’s easy to forget your budget restrictions and the costs necessary to make your Christmas period the most advantageous it can be. So, plan ahead, budget accordingly, and organise well in advance the stock count of products you intend to purchase, the amount of pay needed for employees and the costs of events/promotions.
If in need of a little additional support, you may consider taking out a Liberis Business Cash Advance to keep your store in order, customers satisfied, and your employees employed. Our cash advance is a more flexible solution to business funding as repayments are only made when your customers pay you.