With just weeks to go until Christmas, you need to make sure you are prepared. If you expect sales to peak, put resources in place to make the most of the upturn.

Follow these steps to make sure you are ready for the festive season;

  • Enter into the Christmas spirit. Making your premises or website look festive does not have to be expensive and can help encourage sales and boost staff morale. However, maintain the right balance – no-one likes a scrooge, but Christmas jingles can be irritating.
  • If you are expecting extra orders over the Christmas season, ensure you will be able to fulfil them. But equally, don’t overstock or you risk tying up cash in goods you are unable to sell.
  • Ensure your IT support is sufficient. If you expect an increase in web traffic, make sure you have the bandwidth and server-processing capacity you need to prevent your site from crashing.
  • Organise staff resources. Make sure you organise staff holidays so that you have enough people to cover busier days. If employees are reluctant to work extra hours, or sacrifice time over the holiday period, consider paying them a higher rate.
  • Chase up payments. If you have any invoices to chase, catch customers before they disappear on their Christmas holidays. It’s easy to forget to pay bills at this time of year, so make sure clients don’t leave you short. Finally, ensure you are up to date with your own payments.
  • If the Christmas period is a quiet time for you, make the most of the seasonal lull to catch up with outstanding tasks, such as updating your business plan.
  • Ensure staff complete all their tasks before going on holiday. Provide clear instructions of what they need to do before they leave. However, when they are finished consider letting them leave early. It shows you appreciate their hard work and is good for morale.
  • Reward employees for their hard work by getting everyone together for a drink or mince pie. A fifth of businesses have cancelled their Christmas party this year, but parties can be a valuable way of saying thank you to employees for their hard work
  • Be security-conscious. If your premises are going to be empty for a few days, take laptops and other valuable equipment home with you. Close the blinds to hide valuables and turn off machinery to reduce your energy bills

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