A lot of people start to speak about Christmas at the beginning of November when festive ads hit the TV screens; business owners however, have been talking about it for a very long time already. In order for it to be a profitable, early preparation is vital.
Leaving things to the last minute can cost more, waste time, and lead to a loss in sales and booking opportunities. Here’s the essential pre-Christmas checklist for every small business owner, how many can you tick off?
Prioritise staff rotas and holidays
Ask your staff to put holiday requests in early. Time off over Christmas is in high demand, and early warning gives you plenty of time to get organised.
If some of your existing team will be taking time off, or demand is especially high during the festive season, you might need temporary staff to help serve customers. With planning and notice, you’ll have plenty of time to interview the best temps and form a strong Xmas team.
Track your cash flow
Finding yourself short of funds between Christmas and New Year could make it very difficult to run your business. It’s wise to save some reserve cash flow in case your staffing bill is higher than usual, you’ve ordered more seasonal stock, or there are Christmas bonuses to pay.
If you’re closing for a period over Christmas, it’s also good etiquette to sort out your invoices first. Make sure you can keep your suppliers happy by taking care of their bills. They’ll be more likely to prioritise you next Christmas!
Don’t miss the last post!
Royal Mail recommend people and businesses post all their essentials by 22nd December at the very latest. The longer you leave it, the more you’ll have to pay to guarantee delivery in time for Christmas.
Tues 18 December – Last date for 2nd Class and Royal Mail Signed For® 2nd Class.
Thurs 20 December – Last date for 1st Class, Royal Mail Signed For® 1st Class, and Royal Mail Tracked 48®.
Friday 21 December – Last date for Royal Mail Tracked 24®.
Saturday 22 December – Last date for Royal Mail Special Delivery Guaranteed®.
If you’re posting internationally, there deadlines are much tighter. Check the full list at Royal Mail’s website.
Check your suppliers’ delivery recommendations
“UK retailers could be collectively missing out on over £3 billion due to delivery failures over the Christmas period”, according to statistics reported in the Retail Gazette.
Ordering stock and supplies can become really problematic on the run up to Christmas – roads are icy, suppliers run out of popular products, and customers can easily choose to shop, dine, or drink elsewhere if you fail to give them what they want. Make a list of your high priority goods and ask your suppliers when they recommend you place your order.
Christmas is a chaotic time, but there are so many opportunities to improve profits and create an army of new, loyal customers.
Capify’s flexible finance can help you pay for temporary staff, specialist stock, and a pre-Christmas marketing boost. Repayment is predictable and affordable, allowing you to expand without harming your cash flow.
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