It may be October but in a few short weeks, the festive season will be upon us. This can mean different things to different businesses, for some it is the busiest time of the year, for others it can mean work winding down and looking forward to some time away from the office. Either way now is the time to start preparing your business for Christmas.

Unit Management have put together some useful information on what to do to ready your business for the festive season.

Extra Staff

If you are running a business that gets seasonally busier in the next couple of months, you need to look at your staffing levels, do you need extra bodies to cope with the workload. Perhaps you require temp staff, if so, now is the time to work out what you need and get in touch with employment agencies. There are many people out there that relish seasonal work, students often have long Christmas breaks and others need extra income.

Staff rosters should be set up as soon as possible, this will give your employees a decent amount of notice so they can arrange childcare or put in place any personal plans.

If you are in an industry that gets quieter in the run-up to Christmas it may be a good opportunity to give your staff some time off by reducing office hours or shutting the office doors for the break. Not everyone will be happy taking enforced holiday time, but many businesses stipulate this in their employees’ contracts. Many members of your team will be glad to have extra time off to spend time with their families and friends. It’s important to do what is right for your company.

Virtual Services

If you work alone or in a very small team and will be expecting a lot of calls it may be worth considering an answering service that can take messages when you are unable to. An unanswered call can sometimes be a missed business opportunity.

Dates

Advise your customers of any significant dates that relate to your business over the festive period. Last order dates and delivery times together with when the business will be closed or unavailable for enquiries.

Prepare for Disruptive Events

The festive season brings with it the chance of bad weather which can cause disruption to deliveries and the postal service. If possible, try to set up deliveries in plenty of time and keep an eye on local and national news for any situation that may impact your business. If you are aware there are storms on the horizon you may be able to make contingency plans to keep things moving, or let your customers know if there is a problem. Try to keep your clients informed if there is a likelihood of a delay on their order as this is good customer service practice.

Office Party

If you work with a team, it is important to show your appreciation of their work over the year, this can come in the form of a Christmas party or meal out. If it is a busy time of year for your company, consider arranging this either much earlier or after Christmas. Catering companies are booked up weeks in advance so if arranging a party consult caterers without delay, or if a meal out is your choice get in touch with restaurants now as many will be very booked up already.

Take a Minute

Christmas can be very stressful for a business. If you are rushed off your feet and there are not enough hours in the day this can be hard on you and everyone who works with you, try to take a breath when you can and check in with your mental health and that of others. Get help if it becomes too much, either in additional hands or talking to someone.

The opposite can happen if this is a quiet time for your company, it can heighten financial worries at a time when personal expenditure is at its highest. If this is the case take the time to look at your business and plan for the next year, putting it all down on paper can make everything clearer. It may be possible to plan your next year’s income so that cash flow is not under so much pressure over the lean periods in your business year.  

We hope this information is useful and if you are looking at moving to a new office to develop and build your business, UML have some great workspaces and offices to rent across South West London and Surrey, so get in touch today and find the perfect spot for you to kickstart your business in 2024.