5 things to consider to prepare your Business for the Christmas season
Christmas is coming: How to prepare your business for the festive season in a very different year.
December has arrived, the busiest time of the year for most retailers. It’s time to make this year a successful festive season after such a challenging year for business in general.
With some pre-planning, you can prepare your Business for the peak season whilst making sure that your equipment, people, and finances are at the utmost state of readiness to take full advantage and offer outstanding levels of service to your customers.
Here are the 5 things to consider to prepare your Business for the Christmas season:
1. Get your equipment and supplies ready
Whether it’s computer hardware, Epos, shopping trolleys, lighting, refrigeration, etc., any item of equipment essential to conducting business will have a serious ‘trade impact’ if it is out of order before or during Christmas. One must bear in mind that suppliers are also in the midst of a busy period, so access to replacement equipment of a service engineer made not be immediate.
Therefore, it’s important to ensure that all essential equipment is tested before Christmas, serviced if required, or even replaced if necessary.
Developing a preventative maintenance plan for your business is an excellent idea at any time of the year, and comprising a list of consumable parts that need to be readily available will compliment this.
2. Hire Seasonal Employees and Train them
If you require extra employees to cater to the expected increase in demand, now is the time to get them in place. It’s very common for retail Businesses to hire extra seasonal staff to get through the Christmas period.
Once hired, the new staff members will need to complete their induction program and familiarise themselves with Company policy and operating procedures. Most of all, they will need to be trained correctly to do the job they were hired to do. The good idea is to have a job description ‘one-pager’ that may help inexperienced staff assimilate to the role more quickly.
3. Stocking Up
It is essential to check that stock and inventory levels are assessed and are correct. Be sure to watch your stock levels closely; it will help you ascertain what is selling and, more importantly, what is not.
Checking inventory records will also provide insights into your customer buying habits and help you ensure that products with greater demand and faster turnover are always maintained. Products that are ‘out of stock’ equals a loss in sales. Retail Solutions Epos has the ability to produce accurate live stock figures and also decern what products fall into the ‘must stock’ category.
4. Managing your Finances
Christmas is the busiest time of the year for most Retailers, but this increase in demand can apply additional pressure to all resources, including financial. Therefore, it’s essential to pre-plan budgeting by setting targets for sales projections and direct and indirect costs. Properly coordinated, this will allow you to purchase the correct stock at the correct time at the optimum price. This is where the Retail Solutions Back Office Application becomes invaluable. It can analyze historical sales volumes and even conduct predictive orders for suppliers that can also consider seasonality factors.
It’s crucial not to deviate from your budgets. If annual revenues rely on your Christmas sales, it’s vital to keep within your budget and make sure you don’t spend more than you have already allocated for the season.
Ensure that your daily accounting and management information systems are updated; it is vital to keep on top of your finances as neglecting them can be detrimental to the business.
5. Consider Selling online with a Web Shop
More & more consumers are shopping online because of COVID – 19. All types of products, even ones they typically would have been bought in-store, are now being ordered online.
Retailers’ excellent opportunity to explore digital channels to provide more convenient options for their customers.
According to a recent report from Periscope By McKinsey, “in a matter of 90 days, we have vaulted forward ten years in consumer and business digital adoption”.Creating synergy’s in your Business is essential to stay competitive and to meet the new and ever-increasing demands of the marketplace and consumers.
Offering your consumers the possibility to buy online, using any device provides a new and innovative way to stay ahead of the competition. Retail Solution has now developed a ‘Web Shop’ that is linked directly with your Epos system. This means that you only have to manage one product file instead of maintaining both an online and a shop product file database.
About the author
Juliane Camozzato is a Marketing Executive at Retail Solutions. You can follow her on LinkedIn!
Pádraig Nolan is a Sales Director of Retail Solutions Ltd. You can follow him on LinkedIn!