With Christmas just around the corner, SMEs all over the world are about to get much busier (especially those in the retail sector). As such, it is important that they are well prepared for all the complications which can arise from such a hectic time of year.
In the weeks leading up to Christmas there are many different measures that an SME can put in place to ensure that they have a productive and successful time over the festive period. Here is a short Christmas survival guide for SMEs in the retail sector.
For any business which delivers products to customers across the country (or world), it is important to have a reliable, effective courier service (such as TNT) to deliver each order which is placed.
After all, with so many people doing their shopping online it is likely that online orders during the Christmas period will skyrocket for most SMEs.
Having a trusted courier in place gives the business owner peace of mind that there will be no problems with delivery, and that products will arrive at the customers’ doors in mint condition.
Another important measure which most businesses will want to consider is hiring more staff. It is common to see job adverts in windows for seasonal staff at many high street shops over Christmas, as businesses will likely receive a great deal more footfall, and need to serve a larger number of people than usual.
Hiring temp staff means the business is not committed to hiring costly full time staff, and can better cope with the increased demand for a short period of time.
That being said, temp staff are sometimes asked to stay on after Christmas if they have taken to their role and performed exceptionally, so this period can also be a good opportunity to find new permanent staff too.
It may go without saying that with increased demand for a business’s products comes the need to invest in more stock. Many retail SMEs start to ramp up orders from their suppliers in the months leading up to Christmas, in order to ensure that they have a good stockpile which will not run out.
As such, it is worth letting suppliers know well in advance when orders are going to increase, as this gives them a chance to ensure they can provide an adequate supply. Once the SME has sufficient goods flowing in, it should be able to easily meet the increased demand for its products.
The Christmas period can undoubtedly be stressful for business owners, but the key to success is always good preparation. As long as the SME can cope with the temporary spike in demand, it should be able to generate a healthy profit.