The Christmas season is nearly upon us, and for many small businesses that means a major opportunity to boost profits. Research shows that 4.7 million UK adults plan to spend more than usual on Christmas gifts this year. So how can small businesses capitalise on the festive shopping boom?
Our UK Managing Director and COO, Alex Miles has shared his top tips for small business owners, "The festive season gives small businesses a great opportunity to boost their sales and attract new customers. It’s the one time of year that the majority of people within the UK will be looking to purchase items at the same time. However, navigating the year’s final months requires careful preparation."
1. Understand your seasonal fluctuations
Start by researching how the Christmas season typically impacts businesses in your industry. Look at sales cycles, inventory needs, and staffing requirements.
Record key milestones throughout this year's festive season. When do customers start shopping? How long is your busiest period? This data will help you anticipate and prepare for seasonal demands in 2024.
2. Hire temporary workers
The Christmas rush may require extra staff, but try to avoid knee-jerk hiring decisions. Consider temporary workers to manage costs flexibly. Scale your workforce up or down to match fluctuating demand.
If you need the extra staff, try to think strategically about how you use them. Align higher staff levels with your busiest weeks and reset to normal levels in January's slower period.
3. Learn from competitors
Keeping tabs on competitors this Christmas can provide valuable insights. Note what resonates with your target audience and what fails to connect. This will reveal strengths and weaknesses in your own approach.
Don't view other businesses solely as competition. There may be opportunities for collaboration through social media giveaways, bundled deals, or local events.
Networking with other business owners can uncover partnership potential while expanding your connections. Plus, an open dialogue allows everyone to learn from successes and missteps.
4. Use social media
Social media continues to be a key marketing tool, but standing out from the Christmas crowd is vital. Focus on building community with engaging content.
For example, if you’re a Christmas tree seller, share tree origin facts or creative decoration ideas.
Other promotional tactics include giveaways, influencer partnerships, blogger collabs and festive events for loyal customers.
The goal is to connect authentically with your audience amidst the busy Christmas marketing. Offer value, entertainment and a sense of community.
5. Offer purchase incentives
While Christmas can bring a surge in demand, you’ll also find a surge in competition. Offering discounts can attract new customers and further help you stand out from the crowd. Some potential examples include:
- Christmas gift bundles: Offering a group of products at a discounted price.
- Early bird discounts: Reward customers who choose to do their Christmas shopping early with you.
- Free gifts with a purchase: Give customers a gift when they spend a certain amount.
6. Invest wisely
Last year the average Brit spent £642 over the Christmas period. Whilst this could mean a great influx of money for your business, it’s important to think about how best to spend extra Christmas profits. With careful planning for your quieter periods, you can set yourself up for success in 2024.
The bottom line
The Christmas period provides invaluable opportunities for small businesses to boost sales and acquire new customers. However, careful planning and preparation is required to fully capitalise on the Christmas rush.
By following the tips outlined here - analysing sales cycles, strategic staffing, competitor research, social media marketing, attractive incentives and more - small business owners can make this season a profitable and successful one.