Business planning

Start your Christmas planning NOW!

Andrew Sadauskas /

The other day, your humble correspondent suggested that, if you want to close for a week during summer, you really ought to start planning for it now.

 

For those of you who didn’t read that column – and tut-tut for shame if you haven’t – there are some good reasons why you should consider a summer break.

 

Of course, closing for a week during January isn’t the only thing you need to think about as you head towards the festive season.

 

For example, are you likely to need extra casual staff to deal with a Christmas or summer rush? Especially if you’re in retail, tourism or hospitality, keep in mind you will soon be facing a pre-Christmas rush, a Christmas party season, and the January school holidays.

 

Likewise, are you considering running a promotion or doing some extra advertising over summer? What about organising a Christmas party for your key customers or staff? Or are you in an industry that experiences an end-of-year slowdown and need a strategy to drum up some extra business?

 

Well, the time to start thinking and planning for it is right now!

 

Don’t put off your planning until November or December. You might end up finding that you just don’t have the time to plan a strategy or put it into action; that you’ve left it far too late!

 

Posters and pamphlets can take time to get professionally designed, printed and distributed. You don’t want to put it off, only to find the initial design was absolutely awful or that getting those pesky marketing materials out to customers will take longer than you initially anticipated.

 

And if you want a Christmas party for customers or suppliers, there’s a risk the plum Friday and Saturday nights at your favourite function centre will be booked out if you leave it too late. Do you really want to feed your most valuable customers soggy sandwiches and lukewarm beverages because all the venues with good catering have been booked months in advance and you didn’t get your act together until mid-December?

 

Then there’s that feeling of last-minute panic that grips you when a shipping delay means you don’t get that essential stock or equipment from the US on time or you need to organise a Plan B at the last minute. And mark my words – anything that could go wrong will!

 

Do you really want to be that small businessperson who screams at a call centre rep after a last-minute, unplanned delay puts your whole business strategy at risk?

 

Can you picture the scene? Just imagine shouting: “No, you have to get that delivery to me before next Tuesday! Like you originally promised! Otherwise my business goes under! No, I don’t want to upgrade to the platinum package – I want my problem fixed! Or else I’m calling the ombudsman! Every day of delay is costing us thousands in lost revenue! Do you understand?!”

 

Do you really want to be that screaming small business owner? Over Christmas?

 

If not, don’t risk leaving your planning too late!

 

Old Taskmaster says the best way to ensure you get everything done on time is to get it done early! After all, “months in advance” is right now!

 

Sit down and think through the things you want or need to do to give your business a boost over summer. Then list the steps you need to take to put that into action and get started!

 

By being organised, you can get everything done at a reasonable pace instead of in a blind panic at the very last minute.

 

Get it planned – today!

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Andrew Sadauskas

Andrew Sadauskas is a former journalist at SmartCompany and a former editor of TechCompany.

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