Winter can be a very profitable time of year for many businesses. Garden centres can start preparing for people buying Christmas trees and festive decorations, while fashion retailers swap their summer stock for coats and knitwear.
The key to success is to be prepared and plan in advance, not only will this help you organise advertising campaigns, it’ll also make sure that there isn’t a sudden strain put on your cash flow.
With careful planning, you can keep your cash flow healthy and make the most of sales opportunities during the winter months.
Restaurants and bars
Christmas party season is an excellent opportunity to improve profit margins and attract new customers.
Take detailed pre-orders with bookings
Asking for a deposit for a large booking is good practice. To plan your stock and supplies in even more detail, create a set menu and ask for orders well in advance. With specific numbers, you’re far less likely waste stock and supplies.
Talk to your suppliers early in the year
Once you know what to order – whether it’s decorations or bottles of champagne – speak to your suppliers as soon as possible to find out their availability. Prices could rise as Christmas approaches, so order your essential non-perishables as early as possible if you have somewhere to store them.
Depending on your industry, winter can be full of opportunity or a bit of an inconvenience. Whatever you sell, it’s never too early to plan.
Have contingency plans
If sheets of ice stop your deliveries, what’s the alternative? If you’re relying on snow and it’s a mild December, what will that mean for the special offers you planned? Be adaptable and have backup plans, they’ll prevent you from wasting time and money.
To attract Christmas shoppers, keep it simple
When customers are after a specific item, they expect to be able to get it quickly and easily. During Christmas shopping season (which starts in October for many) this is even more true. Whether you’re strictly bricks-and-mortar, or you also sell online, make sure the buying process is seamless and easy to navigate. Iron out the kinks and problems now.
People will always need highlights and gel polish manicures, but winter poses unique challenges.
Just like retailers, plan for adverse weather
If half your appointments are no-shows because snow causes havoc on the roads, and your staff are stranded too, your profits could suffer. It’s impossible to predict or change the weather, but you can manage your expectations and make sure rebooking is an easy process.
Encourage people to treat themselves
On the run up to Christmas, many people will have spent a lot of their disposable income on gifts for other people. You can convince them to spoil themselves with a facial or massage if the special offers look appealing enough. Advertise on social media, in your salon, and locally to attract more people during quiet times.
The time before and after Christmas is usually filled with parties, which is a fantastic opportunity for hair and beauty salons. Make sure you do some research on popular looks, and get your sparkly, festive stock ordered early so you can be the first to launch marketing campaigns and get your bookings in.
If you’re looking to get organised for winter by purchasing additional stock, beginning marketing and advertising campaigns and introducing special offers, Capify can help you. We offer flexible business finance which is designed not to impact your cash flow. Every time money comes into your business through a card transaction, Capify take a small percentage until the finance is repaid. That means when you have a slow day you’ll repay less and on a busy day you’ll repay slightly more.
Capify has an average score of 9.4 out of 10 on TrustPilot, and we’ve helped thousands of small businesses source finance they can rely on.
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