Our loan recipients share advice on using Christmas to give your business a boost
Whenever Christmas is approaching it can mean preparing to deal with a surge in demand. If not, it can provide some much valued quiet time to prepare for next year and reflect on what went well and improvements that need to be made.
We’ve asked six loan recipients who founded a variety of businesses to share their advice on how to use Christmas to give your business a boost
1. Communicate with your customers
Stewart Hilton, founder of brand activation specialist ZEAL Creative
‘Start a dialogue with your clients as soon as possible to discuss their Christmas holiday plans. This allows you to make sure you always have the right team in place but only when your customers actually need it. By doing this we usually find that we can give our own team a decent Christmas break as we avoid having people sat in the office doing nothing when their clients are off eating Turkey. This planning also allows you to make a perfectly timed phone call to your clients to say a personal thank you for another year of their business.’
2. If it’s a quiet time for your business, use it to prepare for the busy season
Nicola Weeks, founder of bridal store George James Bridal
‘In order to prepare for the Christmas spell I will hold some exclusive events that will include Designer weekends and a sample sale. Christmas is an expensive season when not as many people will be shopping for wedding dresses, so this gives brides an opportunity to find their dream dress at a more affordable price. It also allows me to create space in the boutique for the new collections that are currently arriving. I will of course also enjoy creating a beautiful featured festive window display to entice customers in on the approaching chilly winter days!’
3. Theme your product
Matthew Hinton, founder of world beer store Brew Cavern
‘Our Christmas preparation consists of getting as many Christmas themed beers in stock as soon as possible! We already sold out of one of them and it’s not even November yet. We’ll also be building our regular stock up to bursting point as we know from last year how difficult it becomes to source orders the closer we get to the big day. Another tip is to not forget the period between Xmas and New Year. We were as busy on NYE as Xmas eve so it’s important to have stock ready for that too.’
4. Be prepared!
Hanna Ellis, founder of furniture transformation store Bella’s Boutique
‘Our top tip would be to start early! We already have some Christmas stock displayed in our store and will be adding more over the next few weeks, as people seem to start their Christmas shopping earlier and earlier every year. Customers have already been in buying early presents!’
5. Build your business presence
Ryan Palmer, co-founder of sock subscription service London Sock Co.
‘Christmas is all about having a business ‘presence’ and the more you can get the better you’re likely to do. A campaign idea that helps to differentiate you from the crowd helps massively. At London Sock Co. we try to push it out through as many channels as we can; existing customer newsletters, third party gift guides, bloggers, paid search, social media and using friends and family who are often your biggest supporters. Devise your plan and focus on executing it with sufficient product to sell. Christmas only comes once a year so go for it!’