It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas – the decorations are up, presents being purchased, parties and holidays booked, school is nearly done for the year, the kids are excited, the anticipation is building…
Christmas is a time for family, friends, faith, togetherness, celebration, good food, helping those in need, merriment, traditions, reflection, hope, joy, wonder, magic, laughter, love … and more. It can also be a very stressful time, especially if you run a business.
This could be the busiest or the quietest time of year so getting organised early will save some stress leading up to the big event. Here’s our top tips for your business survival this Christmas.
Christmas is your busiest time
If you’re heading into a busy Christmas season you need to be prepared! Make sure you’re on top of your staffing and stock requirements now.
- Talk to your staff to check they’re available when you need them.
- Make sure you’re approving Christmas leave strategically so you’re not going to be left with a staff gap.
- Consider the public holidays and additional cost of wages during those times.
- Let your customers know you’re open, your opening hours, any special offers you have.
- Check your current and anticipated stock levels to make sure you’ll have enough to see you through.
- Contact your suppliers to see when you need to have your orders in to ensure delivery by a certain date.
- Check to see if your suppliers will be available over the Christmas period for additional orders.
Enjoy the extra profits this busy period brings, but don’t burn yourself or your staff out – rotate your rosters, schedule some downtime, appreciate and reward your staff for the extra effort they’re putting in.
Christmas is your quietest time
If you’re closed or coming into a quiet time over Christmas, this could be a great opportunity to have a break. But can have its own set of stressors. How can you prepare for them?
- Communicate clearly with your customers so they know when you’ll be closing and when you’ll be back.
- Check with your suppliers to see if they’re closing down and maybe you need to place some advance orders to ensure you don’t run out of stock while they’re away.
- Have a conversation with your staff about the shut down and make sure you’ve given them sufficient notice to take annual leave during this time.
- Budget for the lost income while you’re closed and the expenses that you’re still committed to.
- Rest, breathe and enjoy your break.
Whether Christmas for you is manic or calm, it’s important to take some time away from the business for reflection and planning. My business slows down a bit because there’s no BAS looming, and some of our clients close down which means there’s not so many deadlines. So I take this time to look back on my year and reflect. What worked well? What could have been better? What didn’t get ticked off my project list? (I prefer the word “projects” over “goals” as it doesn’t seem to cause as much anxiety!) What did I rush into without enough consideration? What did I procrastinate about?
And then do some planning for the year ahead. What are my projects for the coming 90 days, 6 months, 12 months? Based on my reflections, what improvements can I make? What projects will my staff undertake? What professional development will we do as a team? What books do I want to read? What do I want to learn? Who do I want to learn from? How many holidays am I going to have? Where will I go on holiday? What will my income be? What will my profit be? How can I make more of a positive impact? How do I want my business and my personal life to look by next Christmas?
If you’d like some help with planning, you might like to look at our business planning services. Any time is a good time to develop a business plan if you don’t have one, however it’s particularly relevant at the start of a new year. To find out more about who should have a business plan, what it involves, and the benefits, click the link below.
Find out more about Business Planning
Whatever you’re doing this Christmas, in the lead up and the aftermath, in your business and in your personal life, remember that this doesn’t have to be a stressful time. Just take some time to plan and breathe. And remember what I said at the beginning – Christmas is a time for family, friends, faith, togetherness, celebration, good food, helping those in need, merriment, traditions, reflection, hope, joy, wonder, magic, laughter, love. From the Miss Efficiency team, we wish you all of that!
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