Along with festive cheer, the first of December can send a chill down the spine and realisation the end of year is upon us already.
Depending on what industry you are in, for an SME that can mean a rush to get a huge amount done or a casual wind-down before a Christmas closure. Regardless of where your business is at, there’s a few essential things to do before you clock off to spend time with your friends and family on Christmas day.
The Australian Institute of Management (AIM) says that if you want to stump a room full of executives, ask them why anyone should listen to them. “Because I’ve been here for the past 15 years and I’ve made this company what it is today,” is likely to be at least one of their responses. Likewise you – the SME owner. However, while that may provide some measure of credibility, the real reason anyone should be in a leadership position isn’t because of their past performance, but their potential for future-based performance. AIM says the importance is in actually creating a strategic long-term plan for the future and, of more importance, how you inspire others to follow you. We asked AIM to provide us with the key attributes an SME leader needs to lead their team into the future – here’s what they had to say:
Notify your clientele
Depending on your customer base, you will need to tell the people you work with about your Christmas plans. You may be thinking about Christmas months in advance, but it’s critical to make sure all of your business’ stakeholders know what to expect over the busy period. Be transparent about opening hours and holiday dates while ensuring your clients don’t feel neglected.
Update your social media
Even if most people in the world have clocked off between Christmas and New Year, there’s going to be the few people working doggedly through the break. An SME can take advantage of this by being prepared and accessible to the clientele that are around and letting them know of their availability via social media. This is especially the case for those in the hospitality industry – while many restaurants are closed, the few that are open can expect decent trade.
Get festive in store
It doesn’t matter if you’re online only or bricks and mortar, customers like it when you get into the festive spirit. Put up a tree or add a few Christmas themed add-ons to your online store and customers will feel as festive as you do – and hopefully open their wallets accordingly.
Take time to enjoy the Christmas rush
As Christmas creeps closer, it can be easy to get wrapped up (pun intended) in the stress of increased demand from customers and clients. However, it’s important to remember that the Christmas period represents an opportunity for you to potentially tap into a new client base. It’s an excellent time to invest in new advertising markets or a digital media campaign.
Invest for the new year
Boxing Day sales are a key moment for SMEs in retail and a key opportunity for those outside the industry. For SMEs in the retail space, it’s a great time to take advantage by increasing stock and targeting key markets. For those who want to nab a bargain, they can be guaranteed of a one a year saving by buying up in the sales. If you don’t have the cash flow, you can benefit from an easy to access unsecured line of credit at Kikka.
If there’s one time of year that work should be fun, it’s now. Christmas is a stressful time for many reasons, and that’s all the more inspiration to take a step back and reflect on your achievements for the year.