Business Tips for the Holidays


Christmas time brings greater expectations because everyone thinks there will be more money to spend. This is no problem for consumer-driven sectors like the retail and food industries because this is when they experience a surge in profits.
But not all ventures prosper during this time. Businesses may increase in sales or suffer a lull during the holiday season. This is challenging for companies whose sales drop because of higher expenses, and lower cash inflow.
Whether this time of the year is good or bad for your business, you need to know that careful planning must be done to benefit your business during this period. Here are tips that are proven beneficial to businesses in this season of merriment:
• Add Christmas ornaments to make your office look festive. But do not over-decorate because this makes your place look cheap and tacky. You may also play jolly Christmas tunes, as this helps uplift the moods of both your clients and employees.
• Manage your inventory and purchase wisely. Check your stock level. It’s quite a blunder to be out of stock during this season, but being overstocked is also a critical mistake as this will surely tie down your cash flow. Monitor the movement of your inventory. It also helps if you know the history of your sales during the previous years, so you would be able to forecast your sales accurately.
• Provide extra time (and money) on marketing. You know that during this season, what with bonuses and 13th month pay, most people spend more. Try to compete with other businesses by giving discounts, rebates, or perks, to draw customers to your business. You may do this by advertising in newspapers, or if you have a lower budget, you may try distributing flyers or brochures.
• Send corporate gifts to your clients and business partners. It is customary that we give presents to those who have helped us in our businesses. Give gifts to show your appreciation. Again, if you do not have enough budget, you may send modest gifts or small tokens like ballpens, or even electronic cards via e-mail.
• Plan for a company Christmas party. This need not be extravagant. Treat your staff either to boost their morale or to show your gratitude for the work they’ve done the past year.
• If you are planning a Christmas shutdown, make sure that all tasks have been covered before everybody takes a holiday. You would not want to start the year running after unfinished business. Also, do not forget to secure your place. Before leaving your office, make sure you lock it securely, and that all valuable items are safely kept. Be certain that you also turn off your main switch before leaving the premises. You would not want your office burned down during the holidays. And do not forget to make arrangements to have the plants watered!
• If this season is down for your business, then choose this time to do your business planning for the coming year. Schedule your repair work during this closure to minimize business disruption.
• Prepare for after-Christmas sales. You may have unsold items you would want to immediately turn to cash. Sell them at discounted price, so you will have enough revolving cash for the year ahead.
For most people, the Yuletide season is the ideal time to spend but people are now wiser and will take an extra effort to look for the best bargains. To get a good share of the market, you must implement new ideas to improve your business. But whatever it is you come up with, do not forget to bring holiday cheer to everyone. Plan well and have a stress-free and successful holiday!
*Originally published by the Manila Bulletin. Written by Ruben Anlacan, Jr. (President, BusinessCoach, Inc.) All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or copied without express written permission of the copyright holders.