Being organised in the lead up to the ‘silly season’ is essential if you want to thrive and not just survive! For many businesses, December acts as a magnifying glass and highlights any cracks that might otherwise be hidden.
If you are the only person in the business (or home) that knows what to do, then there is a danger you will be stretched in all directions. If your workspace is chaotic with unclear systems, the Christmas rush might see some of your valued clients go elsewhere.
Sales will be lost if you run out of stock, but money wasted if you don’t sell out of seasonal items. If you are a service based business, you may not have work scheduled for two months, or be busy beyond capacity.
School holidays can be a blessing or a curse, as you might have your experienced employees replaced by less experienced casual staff.
Every business is different, so NOW I invite you to consider ‘what are the ‘cracks’ in your business?’ What works and doesn’t work in December?
Write a list. Ask your team what they think. Speak to those that were around at the end of last year.
Here are 5 Top Tips that will help you to plan:
- Team and Training
Make sure they know what they are doing by providing clear and effective instructions (this can be simple checklists for them to follow). Set up rosters to cover holidays and line up back up staff for the busy times.
- Operating Hours
What will your hours of operation be?
Have you communicated your opening and closing hours to your key clients and suppliers?
What are the costs involved with being open for longer? Have they been included in the budget?
Book the cleaner to come in very early after any office based parties. Send invitations out early and chase up RSVPs in case the invite was lost in Christmas cards. Call and re-confirm your key clients/suppliers are coming.
- Client Communication
December is a wonderful opportunity to communicate with your clients and celebrate the year that was and the coming year. Organise a message or a gift that will stand out from the rest – don’t leave it to the last minute – if you haven’t already done so, plan it now.
- Learn and Improve
Finally, learn from this year’s experiences so you can improve next year. Start a document ‘How to make December Boom’ and add to it throughout the month and when you return in the New Year.
…and to make sure you thrive through the ‘silly season’ put some self-preservation strategies in place – saying no is the best one!