The baubles and oversized biscuit tins are filling up the stores. Parents across the land are starting to encourage good behaviour by reminding their kids that Santa is paying close attention. According to research by VoucherCodes.co.uk, 16% of people had begun their shopping by the end of last month. Christmas is coming, and there’s nothing that anyone can do about it.
This time of the year offers some wonderful opportunities for businesses, but if you aren’t prepared, you could find yourself hugely disappointed come January when you’re taking a look at your figures and assessing how your operations shaped up.
So how do you know whether you’re ready? Here, we’ll take a look at three important indicators that you’ve still got some serious work to do.
You haven’t yet started recruiting your Christmas staff
Maybe you’re planning on getting started with your festive recruiting as soon as possible. You already know that it’s a really important task, but you just can’t seem to find any spare time to give it the attention that you know it deserves. Before we get into anything, it’s vital that you don’t panic. That isn’t going to help you, and it’s not going to help your business.
You do need to take action right away though. Create a plan, and get to work on implementation. Time isn’t on your side, so the sooner you get moving, the better. You don’t want to miss out on the top talent, and you don’t want to be forced to cut corners when it comes to training.
You don’t have a back-up plan
Even the most inexperienced business owners realise that Christmas presents its own unique challenges and opportunities, so they get to work with creating a plan that will help them to get the best results possible. The problem is that this is often where the preparation ends. You need to ask yourself whether you’ve got a Plan B, and whether you know what you’ll do if things don’t work out the way you first imagined.
What will you do if your new recruits decide that the role isn’t for them, and leave you in the lurch? What if your management team comes down with a nasty bug and can’t get into work? What if your Christmas party turns into a disaster that could do some serious damage to your business’s reputation? Hopefully, these things won’t happen. But you don’t want to find yourself in a situation in which you have no idea how to pick up the pieces.
You haven’t made customer service training a priority
High levels of customer service are essential at any point in the year. It’s time to make sure that it’s firmly at the top of your agenda though. There are numerous reasons for this. You’ll hopefully have more customers coming through your doors, and you need to ensure that standards aren’t going to slip. As well, you’ll probably have the opportunity to impress prospects for the very first time. Many people will be looking for exciting businesses so they can get all their shopping ticked off their list.
Refresher training should be rolled out. Carry out an audit of where you are right now, and where improvements can be made. You don’t necessarily have to invest huge amounts of time and money. It’s about establishing your current position, and working out where you want to go next.
If you’ve recognised that you need to make improvements, you’re already in a great position for making sure that you really raise the bar this Christmas. Acknowledging that there’s work to do is the very first step. With a little tenacity and determination, you can smash your goals and get to where you want to be.
Of course, you now have an option. Do you want to do all of this on your own, or do you want to call upon some expert help? You have the option to work with someone who’s been in the trenches, already understands the barriers you might face, and has a solution to overcome them.
What’s it to be? If you’re ready to step up, get in touch. We’ll arrange an initial consultation, and talk you through how we might be able to work together.