Now we know what you’re thinking… “Shout & Co., it’s WAY too early to even THINK about Christmas!”
But what if it we told you that if you don’t start planning now, you may actually miss out on an opportunity to really scale up your business in time for Christmas?
As a business owner, there are so many moving parts - from packaging and stock, to sales, marketing and pricing.
And as we always say: “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail” - which is why we’re getting the ball rolling NOW with all of our current retainer clients. Because even if your preps take place in a timely manner, the festive season is always bigger (and more manic) than you remember.
Why not make Christmas 2019 a cash cow rather than a headache?
1 - STOCK:
Top of the list because without it, you’ve got nothing to sell. To make sure you’re all covered in the way of stock levels, take note of how much stock you’ve sold over the last 3 Christmases - include November in your calculations.
Is there a trend in those numbers? Are you selling more stock every year, is it stable or are they slipping backwards? This trend will provide a good benchmark for the next part of this exercise.
Now you need to project what you think this festive season will look like. Take into account what has changed in your business since these previous Christmases: have you hired more staff? Lowered your pricing? Applied to more markets? Got more reps across the country selling your products?
While projections are just a view of how the future could unfold, they help you gear up to respond to the market before it’s too late to do anything about it.
2 - PACKAGING:
Now that you have an idea of how much stock you’re likely to sell, you’ll need to make sure you actually have packaging to put it all in!
Get your orders in NOW for your labels, bottles, jars, stickers - whatever packaging you use and take advantage of lower per unit cost prices due to your increased order quantity. If you leave this one too late, you may end up with your suppliers running out of stock due to increased demand closer to the festive season.
3 - RAW MATERIALS
Like the packaging, you want to make sure you’ve ordered in your raw materials in time - where possible. Some raw materials might have a short shelf-life making this a bit difficult!
4 - MAKE
Give yourself plenty of time to get your stock made: do a little bit each week or month so that you’re not working round the clock towards the end. A production schedule will come in handy here to keep you on track.
5 - COURIERING
Get your shipping boxes, pouches, printer labels, masking tape and fillers in a timely manner so that when those orders come rolling in, you have everything ready to go!
Also find out when your couriers will be closing down over the festive period and when final orders need to be submitted so that they can be shipped to your customers in time for the Christmas shut down.
6 - MARKETING:
Time to get your marketing in order.
Have you got ideas for a fun Christmas promotion you’d like to run?
Want Christmas themed imagery for your social media?
Stepping up the amount of newsletters you’ll be sending to your database?
Want to have a plan of how your communication will flow?
You need to have a marketing plan in place: a calendar of all of the content you’d like to put in front of your target audience (including ads): when they’ll run, where they’re run and for how long.
Just don’t leave it too late to book in a photography session with us - we’ll be closing off one-off photography bookings at the end of October!
7 - PEOPLE
Do you need to hire in some casual workers to help you with a seasonal upswing in admin, bookkeeping, order packing, making or shipping? Spend some time defining and refining your recruitment ads, plan when you’ll publish them, when you’d like to interview and train your new staff.
How can Shout & Co. help you gear up for the festive season ahead?
Stay tuned because we’ll be sharing with you our Marketing Calendar for the Festive Season in our next article. It’ll help you plan and strategise your marketing activities.
We’ll also be showing service-based businesses how they can scale up for the season ahead.