With Christmas almost upon us, it’s imperative that small business owners – particularly those in the hospitality industry – prepare for the festive season in advance, writes Ken Burgin, Head of Community and Events, SilverChef.
From making sure there’s enough staff to cover the Christmas rush, to preparing for any cash flow issues as a result of holiday closures, you could be left with coal in your revenue stocking if you’re not properly set up.
Here are five tips to help you successfully prepare for the holiday season.
- Embrace the Christmas party
Christmas parties are the lifeblood for many businesses over the festive season. Provide a great experience and you can lock in a lucrative return customer. Contact last year’s bookings early and give them the first option on key dates for this year. Be sure to stay firm about deposits and reiterate that the booking is only confirmed once money has traded hands.
- Ensure your digital presence is up to date
This might seem like a simple tip, but it makes a world of difference to consumers. Ensure your location is updated on both Google and Apple maps, and make sure that all social platforms – as well as your Google business page – include your holiday trading hours.
- Stock up on staff
Staffing rosters should be planned well in advance, with clear expectations communicated to all staff on turning up for shifts and expected hours. Recruit more casuals to save yourself from the rigours of full-time staff training. If you find yourself in a pinch, last-minute staffing platforms like Barcats and Sidekicker can connect you with thousands of qualified freelance staff in your area.
- Consider revenue management
The holiday season is a great time to update your pricing and conditions to better manage revenue. Think about implementing minimum numbers or spend on key dates, adding special deals on earlier week days, creating dining packages or piling on low-cost extras for off-peak timings (think: festive bon-bons and santa hats to play into the Christmas cheer).
- IT backup
All businesses trading over the holidays should ensure they have a robust IT redundancy plan in place. Should a printer break, a POS system fail, or the internet crash, what are the steps you’d need to take to ensure the business can continue to run smoothly? Be sure to have key support numbers on hand so that you can make the most of the Christmas service period and walk confidently into the new year.
As Australia’s only hospitality equipment financier, SilverChef has provided funding solutions for more than 50,000 businesses across the country and has seen many customers navigate the festive season. For more information, visit www.silverchef.com.au.