Top tips for business owners to prepare for festive season
SUNCORP Bank has revealed top tips to help small business owners prepare for the Christmas with no little helpers required. It may be a little early for stockings, tinsel, and fruit mince pies, but Suncorp Bank is encouraging small business owners to prepare now for a busy Christmas season. 1. Don't guesstimate, estimate. Look back at seasonal historical sales data to assess expected customer demand for your product or service. Use this knowledge to make an informed decision about what inventory you need to stock up on to avoid having surplus product once sales return to normal. 2. Festive funds. Once you have assessed anticipated sales, manage your finances accordingly. If you anticipate the need to purchase increased stock supplies, speak to your bank as early as possible about temporarily increasing your overdraft account limit. 3. Get your people ready. Assess whether you will require additional staff to meet holiday demand and hire early to ensure they are well-trained before the busy time hits. Finding staff to manage busy periods and allowing leave for existing staff is one of the big pain points for most small businesses, so the earlier you can finalise rosters the better. 4. Speed of delivery. Are you equipped to handle incoming traffic both in your physical store and online? More and more, shoppers are jumping online to do their research before making a purchase. Keep on top of social media enquiries, test various aspects of your online store, including load time and checkout speed, and, if you offer postage, clearly state realistic delivery times to avoid a negative customer experience. 5. Fast track 2016. While the lead up to Christmas is busy for everyone, it is important to take a long term view and plan for a drop in trading come January. Consider additional variables, including the weather, consumer confidence, the political climate, consumer debt, exchange rates, and other economic factors relevant to your industry that could influence the shopping behaviour of your customers. If your business tends to slowdown, plan staff training and social activities to promote staff harmony, and perform a business health check to identify any areas of improvements leading into the New Year.