Managing your business during the festive season: Five tips for success

By Guest Bloggers SAGE UK

Christmas is almost here. The season of good will is upon us, and that means parties, last-minute shopping, and the joyful aroma of mulled wine. Of course it’s also by far the busiest time of the year for retailers, and that means plenty of potential headaches.

While the festive period represents a huge business opportunity, there are numerous problems that could rear their heads in the run up to the 25th of December and into early January. Some of the biggest pain points at this time of year stem from basic management ‘hygiene factors’, so, before you slip into daydreaming about mince pies, there are some fundamentals you need to think about to make sure your days are merry and bright.

Festive flexibility

Regardless of how long you spend planning and preparing, something unforeseen will crop up in the coming weeks. Maintain a level head and take some fundamental steps in advance to help you cope with the unexpected. Ensure your team is equipped to deal with the most likely problems and work from home if necessary. Make a list of the issues that would be most disruptive to your business, then write down what should be done in each scenario.

Working with temporary staff

Given how intense the pre-Christmas run-up can be, you’ll likely be hiring some extra hands. Temporary staff can be invaluable, whether they’re students helping out for a few days or admin staff covering for a member of your team until January.

Perfect payroll prevents pesky problems

Payroll is one of those things that many small businesses don’t often think about. It ‘just happens’ in the background. However, nothing is likely to alienate your team and aggravate your temp workers more than problems with being paid, particularly in December! If you want a smooth running business over Christmas, make sure you have smooth-running payroll.

Automate, automate, automate

You’ll be working at break-neck speed during the build-up to Christmas, and you may well have fewer staff members working over the holiday period itself. Automation is most definitely your friend. Minimising manual processes saves time and decreases the potential for errors, and this means consistent performance within your business and a consistent experience for your customers.

Get into the Christmas spirit!

This is the simplest step of all, but one of the most important for getting you through the yuletide madness: take personal accountability for the ‘Christmas Culture’. Whatever level you are in the company, everyone has an impact on the levels of good cheer. Make sure you’re the embodiment of Old Saint Nick, not the Grinch, and your example will spread through your team and customers.

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