Christmas is just around the corner - 9 weeks to go! What are you doing to plan for the Christmas rush in your business?
Every customer wants all the work finished by the time you finish work on Friday 22 December. Now is the time to plan the next 9 weeks so you will not fall into that Christmas crazy rush period yet again.
Some things to do to help you plan this time…Big Picture!
Send an email to all your current clients and let them know you want to plan this time. Use this as an excuse to remind them of who you are and what you can do for them. A mini marketing exercise. Tell them your holiday plans so they are aware of the time restrictions coming up. You could do this in the form of a newsletter or a personalised email. Get your marketing team involved and your sales team too.
Plan and implement your marketing and sales strategy now. What can you offer your clients and the general public? Have a pre-Christmas sale. Do you have products that would be good as a Christmas gift?
Plan your finances too. Look at your projections and make sure you are covered for the Christmas period and the quiet time in January.
Plan your holiday now. Use this moment before the rush to book your holiday. Having down time is so important for your well-being and the future of your business. Ask your staff to also book this time in now.
Christmas party time:
Every year there are so many events leading up to Christmas. Do you hold a Christmas Event too? Have you spoken to your event planner to move this along? This might need to be the first to-do on your list!
Make sure you leave space in your diary for all the events coming up. If you have a favourite party or networking event that you like to go to each year find out now when it is so you can plan for it.
Start your 2018 planning too. While you are chatting to your marketing and sales teams, find out what they have in mind for the year to come. Do some brain storming so you can start to put a skeleton plan in place. Know what is happening after the quiet January period. Be ready to ramp up!
Now the details of the plans for the next 9 weeks.
Get out a calendar and start pencilling in what you would like to achieve. Look at your normal daily and weekly cycles and then add in the planned Christmas and holiday activities. Another option is to use an online calendar and add in everything you need to do with reminders attached. An online to-do or task list is also useful and can be linked to reminders so you don’t forget any of the important things to do in the next 9 weeks.
Do you have enough stock to get you through the Christmas rush and into the January period? Are your suppliers ready? Have you had that conversation yet?
If you have an online store is your website ready for the onslaught? Have a conversation with your website manager or designer to make sure it is ready and won’t get too slow in this crazy time.
Are you ready for a January sale in your business? Or even a pre-Christmas sale? Do you have stock that you must sell in your physical or online store? Do you know financially what you could sell and at what price?
What is your strategy for this period? Use your calendar to plan your social posts. Make sure you have great photos of stock so you can include these on your Instagram or Pinterest pages. Do you know you can schedule your posts in advance and let them post themselves?
So much to think about…
Do you have enough staff to help you through this time? Do you need a temporary contractor to help you out? Let me know if a Streamlined Organising VA (Virtual Assistant or in this case not so virtual if you need!) can solve this temporary staffing problem.
One more thing: gifts!
Do you buy gifts for your customers or staff? Or send Christmas greetings in the form of an email or cards? You may need to some help getting this out. Plan this strategy now and let me know if we can help!
Do you have a favourite charity that you would like to help this Christmas? Is this by a cash donation or by physically helping out? Have you often thought of doing this but leave it to the last minute? Plan this now.
Christmas can be a great time for you and your business and a great time to be had by all with family and friends. Start your planning now so you can enjoy the next 9 weeks!
Let me be the first to wish you Merry Christmas and may your New Year be filled with relaxation and happiness and a planned 2018!
About the author: Amanda Primrose is the director of Streamlined Organising : professional organisers and virtual assistants .