Holidays are ideally joyous for everybody, however, every business owner is often aware of the stress that goes along the festive holiday season.
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”
Christmas is the largest shopping event in Australia and most parts of the world. In 2017, 41% of total annual online purchases in Games and Toys occurred in October, November, and December. According to finder.com.au, Aussies are expected to spend $1,178 each, on average during the holidays. This 2018 it is expected that total spending will amount to $22.1 billion on Christmas.
This spending is associated with retail shopping, food, festive decorations and a whole lot more. So whether you are a brick-and-mortar store or an e-commerce platform, Christmas is a big opportunity for yearly chart-topping sales and you better be prepared for it.
Let customers know you’re excited!
A sense of camaraderie exists between a customer and a business who makes an effort to know that the holidays are coming. Most of the time it’s a step toward a carefully planned promotional campaign but this strategy works best when the business is genuinely excited.
Most of the time it comes out in the form of a drop in prices like a holiday sale or a simple personal gesture like a greeting card with a coupon or a letter expressing gratitude for patronizing your service. Whatever you plan on doing, it’s best to plan this ahead of time so that when November comes all you have to do is send them out. Which brings us to the next part, deliveries.
Couriers and carriers
In 2017, it was observed that a 13% increase in parcel deliveries occurred during the Christmas season and a total of 5.6 million parcels were received from abroad. Domestically, 34 million parcels went around Australia in the same time period – which shows just how much courier businesses are busy during the holidays.
Be mindful that everybody will be busy this coming holiday season and a good way to secure a channel for your deliveries and marketing efforts is to pre-book a courier. Zoom2u enables you to pre-book courier deliveries anytime during the year, though it is best to pre-book in November which guarantees you a courier when the overwhelming busy season comes. You can talk to one of our account managers about your expected volume of deliveries and they’ll make sure your delivery deadlines will be met.
Website or shop maintenance
Whether it is your website or your brick-and-mortar store, a pre-holiday assessment should be conducted to ensure that it will be able to handle the surge that will definitely come. It is smart to acknowledge that 10% of all retail spending is done during the holiday seasons and to think that you won’t get a substantial surge in customers or users is a big mistake.
Best be prepared and have your team conduct an assessment to know ahead of time if you will need to make tweaks, updates or staffing arrangements to your website or stores to handle the expected load.
Are you planning for a January sale or a Christmas sale? If you are or aren’t – do you think you will have more than enough stock to sell over the holidays? Check them over and align them with your forecasts to ensure that you won’t miss out on the opportunity this season brings.
How about your staff?
Contrary to popular belief, the holidays are also the best times to get a short-term gig to pay the bills or get the gift you’ve been wanting to give to your special someone. Having said that, it’s also the best time to look for extra help since you’ll surely find someone more than willing to handle the expected load.
Hire an extra hand for your store or warehouse to ensure reliability and seamless service. If you foresee a potential problem in your administrative tasks, most business owners hire Virtual Assistants to assist them with scheduling newsletters, blogs and other aspects of the business that won’t need much of your attention.
Schedule your Social Media Posts
Knowing that your time will be spent on handling the overwhelming load for the coming month, it’s best to get all of the social media posts and promotions out of the way. Schedule them in advance, day-by-day and use a post scheduler that posts your campaigns for you at the time you need them to. This way you’ll have to worry about one thing and one thing only – what’s about to come.
Christmas parties are often a great way to blow off some steam at the office, get the team to better know each other and let the employees know that you think about them. What’s great about this is you can hit all aspects of internal values communication with just one rock – a Christmas party!
Have you planned out the event yet? Potluck or sharing? Will there be a mascot, a magician or a host? Will you be giving special announcements to employees who deserve the recognition? Plan it ahead so that when it gets busier than what you expect, you’ll be able to make it work and maybe open up more opportunities for your business since you will have the time to do so.
Since Christmas is a season of giving – you may feel like you want to give back. Do you have a favourite charity in mind you want to share your blessings with? Plan ahead and draft up a spending budget and schedule for when you give a donation to charity. After this is done timing is the next thing you will need and you will have the time to execute it properly or let one of your virtual assistants remind you.
After you plan, plan some more
Get a pen and a paper and list down all of the things you would want to achieve in the coming year. This will act as some sort of self-inflicted horse blinder to ensure that you don’t stray away from your goals and ambitions – this will also guide your actions during the Christmas season to help you set your company in the right direction.