Preparing your business for the Christmas rush

With the end of the year fast-approaching, now is the time to begin preparing your business for a profitable Christmas and successful New Year.

My career began almost 20 years ago, when I moved straight from university into direct marketing. I started out managing databases and direct mail, followed by an expansion into a Marketing Director role that also managed email, website, display marketing, search marketing, and social media.

Today, I apply myself to the exciting world of customised products for Vistaprint, empowering everyday Australians to grow their own businesses successfully, no matter the size.

To give you the upper hand in planning for the festive period, here are five all-important insights into preparing your business for the Christmas rush.

  1. Reinforce your inventory: Forecast your sales and targets to ensure that the extra inventory and supplies you will require during this time of heightened demand are accounted for. As many businesses do not operate over the holiday period, you should prepare your inventory ahead of time to avoid delivery delays that could break sales.
  2. Boost promotions: As a key time for sales, it is important to consider how you can market your business during the holiday season. To engage holiday shoppers, think of offers that will stand out among competitors, like personalised products and customised packaging, print or online holiday gift catalogues, holiday countdowns, complimentary gift-wrapping services, charitable indicatives, and of course social media engagement.
  3. Get to know your customers: With the next couple months guaranteed to see more traffic brought to your business, you will have greater opportunities to gather insights into your customers. Develop a deeper understanding of your target market’s needs and wants by focusing on collecting data and analytics in order to tailor better campaigns and improve your customer service for the year ahead.
  4. Expect a surge in refunds: Check the refund limits on your payment device to avoid any trouble while undertaking refunds and exchanges on unwanted gifts. By filing digital copies of all transaction receipts, you can streamline the process of checking the date, time, and value of sales during refunds.
  5. Communicate with your team: The end of the year is also a time to reward your hardworking staff and suppliers for their support. You can minimise the impact that public holidays have on your team by communicating their holiday hours as early as possible and sorting out employee salary housekeeping ahead of your regular pay day.

Melissa Haywood, Head of Vistaprint Australia

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