Getting your business ready for the Christmas season

With Christmas rapidly approaching, small businesses across the UK will be wondering how to make the most of the festive season and boost their sales over the holiday period. With commercial sentiment likely to be high this Christmas, following the debacle of last year, the key for businesses will be capitalising on this and ending the year on a high.

As well as boosting sales over the period itself, Christmas can be a great time to tap into the cheerful mood among consumers in order to build a connection and gain customers that will stay with you and provide ongoing business. Here are three tips to help your business make the most of Christmas this year.

Start your preparations now
It might not seem like it, but Christmas is only just over 5 weeks away. One of the favourite complaints of shoppers in the UK is that stores and town centres seem to put their Christmas decorations up earlier and earlier each year. While it’s certainly possible to go all in on the decoration too quickly, preparing for the Christmas season is something you should definitely do early.

Start by preparing your marketing approach to ensure that your email and social media campaigns are well scheduled and effective. It will also be vital to conduct thorough inventories of stock, both before, during and after the Christmas period. This will help you prepare for the start of the festive season, keep track of what’s selling well and what’s not throughout the period, and finally to assess and learn from your performance in the aftermath. Once you've got all that in place, you can start planning and putting up your decorations and displays.

Deals, deals, deals
If there’s one thing that buyers are looking for around Christmas its who’s got the best deals. Following hot on the heels of commercial events like Black Friday, buyers enter the Christmas period hungry for deals and, in order to keep up with your competitors, it’s vital that you offer something.

Seasonal sales, discounts or creative offerings can all help to entice customers during the Christmas season and keep them coming back. Making sure that your deals are genuinely distinctive and enticing will help to ensure that you stand out from the crowd during Christmas and get the customers through the door.

Spread the digital word
Heading into the Christmas period, people start to take things a little easier and, in this day and age, that means many people will be spending a lot more time on their phones and computers. That makes this the perfect time to start sending Christmas-related correspondence and content.

You could start with social media posts hinting at Christmas plans, perhaps a countdown until your decorations go up. Email and social campaigns are also a vital way to begin spreading the word about any promotions or deals you’re running, or even events that your company is planning to celebrate the season.

It’s important, of course, to not put people off, so don’t immediately begin with heavy, wall-to-wall Christmas communications. Start off slow and remember never to flood your customers’ emails and social media feeds with a glut of content that is going to make them unsubscribe or unfollow.

Closer to the time, you can start upping the Christmas theme of your content, talking more about your various festive promotions or plans, or even just putting seasonal imagery in non-Christmas related communications.

Finally, Christmas is, of course, an excellent time to make a personal connection to your customers and put a human face on your business. Discounts and deals go a long way, but social media posts such as team photos or a short, fun (but tasteful!) video from the staff party can show a different side to your company. Last of all, but perhaps most important, remember to wish your customers a very happy holiday season!

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