5 ways to take advantage of Christmas

Be Santa

This is the perfect opportunity to mix business with pleasure. Office parties are a great morale booster and so are team lunches, time off for present buying and other feel-good incentives. Your people will love you, and they will work all the harder during the bleak January nights to come.

Christmas is also a chance to treat your best clients to a slap up meal and a cheery boozathon that stretches into the small hours - dancing is optional. If your clients know you as a friend (especially if you share some awkward secrets) they are more likely to trust you; and trust is the rock upon which businesses are built.

If neither of the above appeal, or if they did appeal and now you've got a hangover, consider actually becoming Santa for real! Department stores are crying out for fat middle-aged people at this time of year (when else can you say that?) and dressing up for the kids can earn you a couple of hundred pounds a day.

Now for the clever bit: while little jimmy is telling you what he wants for Christmas, let him know that there are plenty of gifts on your website and give him a leaflet for his parents. That might get you fired, but it's marketing you can't buy!

Send everyone on holiday

Let's be honest, staff wind down the closer it gets to Christmas. Saving up your motivational away days and stockpiling them in December kills two birds with one stone. Time out of the office is a genuine perk, and if you know a better time of year to work on team-building we'd like to hear it.

 

Count your beans

Ebenezer Scrooge had it exactly right. Doing your accounts in December is so much nicer than doing them in January. If it fits with your tax year, make sure you get all the admin out of the way in the build up to Christmas when (or if) things are quiet, then give the world both barrels in January. Even better, get all your budgets in place so you can hit the floor running come January.

Pop-up your shop

A perennial problem for small ecommerce businesses is telling customers about their site. People would buy from you if only they knew you existed. Social media is a swamp of brands vying for share of voice, PPC advertising takes a degree in mathematics to get right, so why not try something a little different?

One good thing about the horrible economy is the fact that there are empty shops everywhere. Not a good thing we hear you cry? Find a prime piece of footfall fodder, offer its owner a short lease for a reasonable price and move your warehouse in for the month of December.

It kills a flock of birds with one well aimed heat-seeker: first off you have a new channel to sell your wares; secondly the Christmas surge will increase sales by an order of magnitude; thirdly it's brilliant advertising for your online shop (give every customer a card when they make a purchase); fourthly it gives you somewhere to store your stuff for a month and fifthly it's brilliant fun to do!

Partner with festive firms

Got no money for a festive marketing campaign? Well somebody somewhere has. If you can find a business that complements your own, then why not go halves on the cost of a Merry Christmas mail-out? If your coffers are completely dry, do a deal and piggyback their brand.

You could offer an additional prize in their Christmas competition, give a discount on your goods for their customers, or simply ask to include a mention of your business somewhere in their festive marketing - it can't hurt to ask.

So remember: It's not just retailers that win big at Christmas; everyone has the opportunity to open up a Santa's sack of profits. It just takes a little imagination.

This article is in association with

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