Whether you’re a Christmas fanatic or a bit of a Grinch, we can all agree that the festive time of year can be stressful. Whilst many will be frantically hitting the high street for those last-minute presents, businesses also have to deal with their fair share of issues. For example, for some companies, Christmas is their busiest time of year, however for others, it’s their quietest. Also, what about staff holidays, parties and etiquette. Business owners have so much to think about at this time of year.
Many businesses will see a spike in sales during the latter months of the year, but not all. Often, it’s the retail and hospitality industries which see their best profits at Christmas. However, many service-based businesses will struggle as people are prioritising gifts and trying to save money. Whether you’re seeing a boom and trying to capitalise on it or struggling and hoping to drum up business, there are ways to make the most out of Christmas.
This is the time of year when every company should ensure that their website and online shop are working at their very best. Many people will opt to avoid the cold weather and shop online, particularly around Black Friday and the week before Christmas. Try to make shopping with you, as easy and enjoyable as possible.
Another thing to look out for is bestsellers. You may find that some products are selling particularly well and this is information that can be acted on immediately. Speedy marketing is always important but particularly during the festive season, when you have access to more potential customers.
It’s also worth checking over hardware, such as credit card readers and other devices, as a faulty payment system could lead to a substantial drop in sales and profit.
As well as taking care of the outward face of the business, you also need to look inward at staff. Christmas brings with it celebration and festivities and this is going to affect staffing. For example, many employees will want time off around the festive period. It’s therefore important to create a policy around this, well ahead of Christmas and make sure your staff are aware of it. Every business will be different, some close completely over Christmas, others have reduced staffing and others are busier than ever. It’s best to err on the side of caution and don’t make any promises that you can’t keep as this will only reduce morale.
During the festive season, many companies will employ a more casual dress code for the office. This can include everything from fancy dress, normal clothes or just a whimsical jumper or tie. Again, whatever your policy is on this, it needs to be clear and transparent for all to see. If a business is vague with their rules and etiquette, the more likely it is that an employee will interpret these rules wrong, leading to confusion.
Whether you love it or loathe it, the office Christmas party is a yearly fixture for many companies. Whilst it can bring people together and let staff blow off some steam, there are so many issues to safeguard against. Business owners need to ensure that during an event such as this, everyone, including the staff and the brand itself, are protected. This means discouraging excessive drinking, lude behaviour or any type of abuse. It also means protecting the company against any sort of negative reflection, for example from unfortunate social media posts.
Again, policy is the best way to tackle this issue and prevent any problems. Let your staff know what is expected of them and the company, during an office party- whether that’s in the office or in a restaurant or bar. It may also be a good idea to assign a senior employee, who remains sober and can keep everything on track.
Office parties are a fantastic way in which to build morale, reward your employees and team-build and there is a way in which to organise this type of event safely and appropriately.
Christmas is a time to celebrate and if business owners approach the season with optimism and more importantly caution, it can be for them too.