5 tips to get your store ready for Christmas

It’s finally here, the precious few weeks leading in to Christmas when you can make extra profit and also capitalise on all the investment and hard work you have put in to your business throughout the year. Opus Design director, Chris Tourgelis, shares a few tips to make the next few weeks fruitful and, importantly, less stressful.

1 Inventory and ranging

Although the peak of Christmas mayhem is not here yet you should definitely be all over your inventory and stock management. At this point you should have a good idea of what is selling well for you, so don’t be shy and wait for December to re-order and build your inventory.

Taking some calculated risks now could well be highly profitable when the real rush begins. This is the time to pick up the phone and speak to your wholesalers about how their stock holdings are looking as well.

2 Staffing

You have given a lot of thought to your rostering for November and December, but have you thought about where your weak points are in your team? In my experience an underperforming member of the team can not only be a waste of resources but can also slow the rest of your team down.

This is the time to sit down with members of staff who need some motivation and really understand whether they can put in that extra bit of effort during this crucial time. If you do not feel confident about this then bringing on new staff is still possible and sometimes beneficial. It is amazing what new and energetic members of the team can do for morale and goodwill during Christmas.

3 Marketing

This is a scary word for some retailers, but it is very important to get your marketing right. The main aim of any marketing activity right now is to get your message across to existing and potential customers. You should aim to remind your customers about why they should visit your store and why you are different and unique. It’s amazing how little you need to spend to make an impact with basic tools like letter drops etc.

Don’t be afraid to press a bit harder with your social media and your newsletter programs right now. Think about how you can position your business to stand out from your competitors. Don’t ever think that your business is too small or too new. You can cut through if you can tap into what your customers really want (i.e. convenience, speed, wrapping, etc.). 

4 Goodwill

Christmas is not only a good time to make money but it’s also the time to show some goodwill to your community and your staff. By going the extra mile at this time of the year you are guaranteeing the future success of your business. Your staff are going to find the next few weeks exhausting so make sure you have some festivities prepared for them that can help them get over the line.

It’s amazing how little a Christmas party can cost in the grand scheme of things and how much it is worth to your team. Show them some love and they will give you their best efforts in return.

5 Building excitement

One of the really puzzling things about Christmas is how fearful retailers are of the season. I have met many retailers in our industry that will openly say that they ‘hate’ Christmas. I understand that it is a very stressful time of the year but it’s also the reason that we are all in business. It is essential to build a sense of excitement and anticipation in your business right now so that your team feels they are part of something worthwhile.

Christmas is the peak of the year and working towards that can give everyone a buzz. I constantly tell my team that it’s an exciting time and that we will be having so much fun when it gets really busy. This helps to soothe their nerves and gets them in the mood for the festive times!