6 steps to gear up for the silly season

Christmas lights and stars

The upcoming festive period is one of the busiest times of the year for small to medium business operators like you. For some, it brings in a significant part of their annual revenue. 

There is so much potential that can be harnessed during this time… where do you start? MYOB has released six steps to help you prepare for success in the silly season. They’re further into this blog post.

An ideal starting point is reviewing your operational and financial performance from last Christmas. How did your staff levels cope? Inventory? Paperwork? What products and promotions did well? Just as importantly, how did your family cope? Talking a deep dive into such results will help you prepare for this festive period.

As our CEO said recently, “There’s more competition for the shopper dollar during this time so plan a range of tactics for attracting them. With more than 80 percent of consumers researching online prior to making a purchase, consider selling your products and services online and include that sales channel in all marketing activity. It’s no surprise our research shows SMEs with a website were 53 percent more likely to see revenue rise last financial year.”

It’s not too late to take your business online, either. Initiatives like Getting Aussie Business Online can see you build an attractive website in no time, ready for the frantic shop-a-thon of the next few weeks.

Also look into running some targeted marketing, advertising and promotions. If you’re strapped for cash you could try some public relations, social media or strategic partnerships. Did you know that a mere 19 percent of SMEs intend to increase their marketing and advertising activities this year? You might gain a competitive advantage by being one of the proactive business owners.

Here are MYOB’s six steps for the silly season:

1.   Get comparison clever

Take a look at the performance of the last festive season to pinpoint the positive and negative aspects then consider what you can do this year to improve results.

2.   Get online

The internet has added a whole new dimension to shopping, whether on smartphone, tablet or laptop. Establish a simple website or revamp your existing one – it’s a powerful tool to boost awareness and sales.

3.   Get vocal

Don’t be shy about making your business as visible as possible. Promote your unique selling points as well as any special offers to keep your customers loyal and attract more.

4.   Get staffed

Hiring extra staff can help with the extra volume of customers at this time. The dollars and boost to satisfied customers achieved through additional resourcing may outweigh the spend.

5.   Get customer savvy

Get your team ready via briefings on all store policies, service and complaint procedures, promotional stock and other important business aspects. Conduct training sessions to prepare them for the extra volume of customer and supplier interactions.

6.   Get organised

Get your paperwork and inventory organised to reduce time spent on admin and stress. Up to date accounting software such as MYOB LiveAccounts or AccountRight Live act like a virtual assistant by automating many aspects of business management. It also gives you a comprehensive snapshot of your business on tap, to help better control things like your cashflow, payroll, inventory and invoices.

After the peak period is over, consider having your business advisor provide a business health check to help kick start your path to success in 2013. They’re the experts for a reason.

Do you have a sure fire step to success? Feel free to share your tips for your peers below…