With the holiday season upon us, businesses are in one of two positions: they may be rushed of their feet with the onslaught of late shoppers or may be in their annual slump waiting for the new year to roll around. In either instance, it is crucial for your business to have prepared for the Christmas period to ensure you don’t fall flat when Father Christmas lands on your roof. Here we look at how your business can best prepare for the Christmas period.
Planning ahead is the best preparation
This particular point is most important for those businesses who have their busiest periods around Christmas time. Preparation is key. Typically, this revolves around how your business is marketed over the holidays: what offers will you provide and how will it be promoted to your audience. The most affective businesses in this season are proactive rather than reactive and fumbling together a promotion strategy at the last minute will not reflect well on your business.
Consider how you are going to connect with your customer, how will they be searching for you, what is really going to catch their eye. Also taking into consideration your company’s brand; the same generic message may not be effective for your customer. How can you think outside of the box? More importantly, when will you set aside time to consider your approach? For example, have you laid out a policy for when your business will sit down to explore what their approach to Christmas may be?
Should I close the office during the Christmas period?
For those who may be quieter as the end of the year approaches, you may well have to seriously consider closing your office for the short period between the Christmas day and new year. In reading this blog post, you may be thinking forward to the following year as oppose to the one we are already in, but it should be a serious issue you consider as a business owner. The reason for this is twofold. The first is questioning whether closing the office for this period of time will contribute to a better working culture for your employees. How many of your employees can you guarantee will come into work solely focused on the job at hand, rather than the last minute presents they forgot to buy? It’s not necessarily that Christmas prevents them from doing their job, but it is highly likely they will be less focused during this time.
The second reason is logistical and therefore dependent on the business you run. Can you guarantee that your clients, your suppliers or anyone else concerning the running the business will be operating during the same period? If not, is there much point asking everyone to make the cold and miserable commute into the office? Temporarily closing the office could also save significantly on overheads during the cold months. The pros and cons will be specific to a business, weighing up whether closing the office would benefit or even be feasible for business. The best way to lay out all of your options could be addressing your business plan for the coming year.
Creating a healthy company culture during Christmas time
By law, your employees are entitled to a minimum of 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday pro-rota, which can include public holidays. Any business however is able to offer more than this minimum, and an employer must give significant notice if they plan to close for Christmas. By setting out a plan to close your business during the few days between Christmas and new years’, employees are given an added perk in their employment contract. Other incentives to maintain productivity during the Christmas season could be allowing employees to leave early on Friday to catch up on gift shopping, as long as they make up the hours earlier in the week.
If you are considering closing your business throughout the Christmas period, the best place to start is to lay out your proposal in your business plan. If you would like help with