by Angela Delaney
11 Ways to Prepare Your Business for Christmas Now
It might seem a bit early, but now is the time to stock up, plan and prepare your business for the busy winter season.
The following guide provides useful advice to help businesses avoid logistics issues in preparation for Christmas 2019.
1. Stock Up & Forecast
If you haven’t already started its time to stock up for Christmas, and busy shopping days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Look at previous year’s sales figures to help forecast Christmas sales this year and have an idea of how busy it may get. Look at trends and don’t run out of top sellers, make sure there is enough stock to supply the demand. Don’t rely just a handful of suppliers, have extra suppliers as backup.
2. Courier Suppliers
Do you have a reliable courier supplier for your business shipping? Do they provide competitive rates? What happens if something goes wrong, do you have a shipping account manager dedicated to your business? If not signup to a free shipping account with World Options.
3. Prepare Courier Shipments Early
If you can send goods to retailers, suppliers and customers early do so now to avoid shipments getting caught up in the mad Christmas rush which often begins in November.
4. Severe Weather
Often overlooked is the weather over the winter months. In the build up to Christmas businesses must take into account how severe weather may affect deliveries in terms of delays. Adding extra delivery time in the event of bad weather is sensible.
5. Last Courier Delivery Days
Be aware of courier suppliers last delivery days, deadlines and last pickups in order to reflect this information to customers and suppliers on your website.
6. Processing Shipments in Bulk
Do you ever process bulk shipments? Take advantage of bulk shipping functionality with your shipping provider, this can often work out cheaper and save time.
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Stock up on packaging and make sure its durable and suitable for the items being transported. Save your business money on packaging by asking your courier provider to supply you packaging, often this is free.
Is there a need to employ more staff to cover the busy Christmas period? Winter can be time where there is a higher rate of staff sickness leave which could impact on your businesses ability to meet demand. If there is an increase in workload employing more staff is something that businesses should start doing so now.
9. Christmas Gifts to Suppliers
Christmas is a great time of year to say thank you to valued suppliers or business contacts by sending them a gift. But businesses often forget, and it becomes a last-minute rush. This year plan and prepare ahead of time, by sending Christmas gifts early so that it’s received in time and well appreciated.
10. Plan for Boxing Day, January Sales and Returns
Boxing day and new year sales can be the final chance to capitalise on Christmas spending. Reap the rewards by planning and preparing for these events. Also remember there is likely to be an increase in enquiries from customer returns in January which will keep your business busy well into the new year.
11. Backups and Contingency Plans
Put together a list of possible issues that may arise in your business during the busy Christmas period and devise backups and contingencies plans should they occur.