Small businesses need to act now to maximise the profit potential of the holiday season through five key strategies, advises Cameron Poolman CEO of OnDeck.
- Consider staffing
Christmas is the busiest period of the year for many small businesses, and it is reasonable to assume you’ll need additional staff, especially as regular employees may want to take leave over Christmas/New Year period. Plan your staffing needs early. Consider asking a recruitment agency for temp support over the peak period.
- Estimate, don’t guesstimate, inventory needs
Refer back to previous Christmases for a clear idea of your stock needs. Over-ordering could mean having hard to shift stock in the New Year. Make an informed decision on inventory levels and consider if finance is available to take advantage of volume discounts.
- Review online channels
Review how well your business can manage increased demand through online channels. Ensure your website has accurate figures on delivery times to avoid negative customer outcomes over the Christmas rush that can tarnish your brand. Plan ahead if additional staff or warehousing space if required.
- Plan to have adequate festive funds
Plan your cash flow over the holiday season. This is especially critical as banks can operate on reduced staffing during peak holiday periods, and your usual point of contact may be unavailable if you need funds urgently.
- Enjoy some downtime
Research by OnDeck confirms that one in two (49 per cent) of small business owners haven’t had a holiday in the last six months. Over one in four (26 per cent) haven’t had a break for at least four years. Use the festive season to take a break, recharge and hit 2020 refreshed and reinvigorated. The wellbeing of small business owners is often closely linked to the success of their business, and if the owner’s light burns out, the business can suffer too.