5 things to have prepared before Christmas
Christmas trading is, undoubtably, hectic. It is one of the busiest times of the year for most retail and hospitality businesses so it requires a lot of planning and preparation. There are holiday makers, frantic gift shoppers, loads of private functions and a lot of the time the suppliers that you use will have limited trading hours due to the public holidays and some may even have holiday closures.
So making sure, ahead of time, you are organised and have forecasted your needs over this period is essential. We have put together a quick checklist of things to make sure you have done before it is too late!
Forecast your busiest days
Analysing your business data is a great tool to use in preparing your venue for the rush of the silly season to come. With the reporting capabilities of your POS system you should be able to look back on your sales performance and be able to identify your peak trading days and items. This data is great place to start, you can then use this to further plan hours, stock levels, and rosters, and giving yourself an insight of what to expect when the madness hits.
Organise and Prepare your staff and rosters
The team you have working over the Christmas period are crucial to your success, so making sure that they are well prepared and ready for the rush is highly important. Ensure they are aware of expectations for sales and service over this period and have the rosters done well in advance just in case last minute staff holiday plans pop up and that need to be accommodated. Another thing to have organised is a back up list of staff members that are available to fill in, just in case of any emergencies may arise.
Confirm Supplier delivery schedules
During this time there are numerous public holidays, and some businesses even close down completely for holiday periods. So make sure you have planned ahead of time and know who is closing, when, and what days deliveries will be available.
Because of this you may have to order stock for a three day period, when you usually are able to order every day, so this may require a lot of precise planning.
Advertise your opening hours
So you are looking to trade longer in the lead up to Christmas, or differ usual trading hours on public holidays, well you need to let your customers know. Putting a sign up within your venue and on your till is great to reach those within your store but using your social media is another way to expand your reach. Perhaps you could utilise your Facebook cover photo and display your hours there so they are easily accessible, do a post up and post across all your platforms, so it is widely covered. Update your business website with these details and make sure you keep your customers well informed of any changes.
Order your consumables
While you will be busy getting your head around how much stock you need to have on hand for the holiday season, don’t forget to stock up on the consumables your business needs to run! Simple things like making sure you have enough change to cover the busy days and the public holiday, order up on takeaway utensils in your hospitality venue and checking you will have enough receipt and printer paper to get you through! There would be nothing worse than running out of receipt paper, when you rely on them to give your customers receipts on gift purchases or the paper that goes to your kitchen printer with a tables full orders listed out. So make sure you have enough of these little things that play a big part.