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Developing an early business plan for Christmas

For a lot of businesses Christmas is the busiest and most important event of the year. It is the time when consumers, en masse, are out there buying gifts and preparing for the festivities. It is also a time when businesses don’t want to be thinking about what they should be doing but actually getting on with it.

Marketing

Much like Christmas TV specials, most marketing plans for the festive season can be put together well in advance and simply wheeled out at the appropriate time. Many businesses start this process shortly after New Year, developing marketing schedules and deciding which of their products they are going to push.  Marketing teams can choose the tools to promote your offers e.g. social media or corporate ecards.

  • When are you going to contact customers with the good news about your product?
  • How is your business going to stand out from the crowd at this busy time?
  • What resources are available?
  • How can you make it simple for your customer to buy your product?

Staffing levels

Staff issues are always more important at Christmas time. People may want time off and you often have to make the best of what is on offer. Do you need to take on extra staff? When do you need to book them in or advertise for them? Who is going to be doing what? It pays to have these kinds of issues sorted well before Christmas is upon you.

Suppliers

Making sure you have enough of your product or service in place at this time of year is crucial for many businesses who depend on Christmas trade for a large part of their yearly profit. For smaller businesses this can be a simple hurdle to overcome but for large organisations it can be vital to make sure the latest products in their lines are available.

Finances

Businesses also need to put aside money to cover the cost of Christmas. That means budgeting around the rest of year and making sure there are enough finances to employ extra staff, get in stock and fulfil any advertising obligations.

Being social

Of course it’s not all just about selling. Events may have to be organised. Are you going to invite corporate clients to a night out? Who are you going to invite? Does it need to be booked early and the invites sent out? Staff may need to attend client events at Christmas and you’ll need to pu a rota together to make sure no one is over stretched.

Christmas greetings

If you have a large client or customer list, it can be daunting to make sure everyone is included. Choosing to send holiday ecards for business contacts and customers can take some of the worry out of when to send and remove the bother of stuffing envelopes and posting. Your corporate Christmas ecards get sent out automatically at a specified date and you don’t have to worry about it.

Planning throughout the year helps businesses keep in control when Christmas finally kicks in. It can be stressful enough without having to worry about logistics and staffing levels or even who to send that Christmas card to.