Christmas is just a matter of few weeks and everyone is busierthan ever. It’s the most festive time of the year for families and the most lucrative for entrepreneurs — if only that could be true for all businesses. Contrary to popular belief, not all businesses enjoy the benefits of the increased purchases. Toys and novelty stores would definitely be the one to parade this time. Restaurants and resorts would be celebrating, too. Caterers and events managers are also sought after. In my previous article, I have discussed this. But how about for businesses like dental clinics, training classes, or janitorial services? Do they benefit in any way? Certainly not, or at least not as significant as you can imagine.
For some types of business, not only is there no increase during Christmas but it is possible for sales to take a dive during this period. Our services would be the least on their mind in planning their December celebration. And this is applicable even to corporate clients. Companies would less likely to spend for contracted services as they would then have to spend money when they too are earning less. For businesses that experience downtime during Christmas, what do we do then? Here are a few things to consider during the down time:
Renovate. Christmas comes before New Year, but it’s never too early to give your business a fresh look. December would have the least number of visitors, which means that you have ample time to reconstruct your broken windows, make your floor shine, repaint scratches, and reposition pieces of furniture to save up spaces. As you have the time, make sure to cover all adjustments you need so that your company is prepared for the return of its customers by January. I’m not telling you to spend for new pieces of equipment, remember you’re just likely to hit break even at best. Screw your computer chairs tighter as they are sure to have been loose with use, replace dimming light bulbs, scrape the dirt in between the floor tiles, wash your garbage cans, and oil back your electric fans.
Shorten operations. What I mean by shorten is for you to reduce the number of days that your business will operate. True that you will still incur rent expense even if you don’t use your office, but expenses like electricity, water, and overhead expenses are avoidable. If you are certain that you won’t be getting any customer anymore, you can schedule your office vacation earlier. Something around December 17 could look early, but it could save you money.
Strategize. Spending this time is not that bad, especially if it motivates your employees. A lot of companies schedule their company planning/ outing this month. This would both be to strategize with the team and to offer them a mini field trip for them to enjoy. Book your company to a nice resort, or to a good vacation place like in Baguio or Tagaytay. You can also book in resorts that offer fun team-building activities that your staff can experience and learn from.
Clear. You know what all consumer like? — sale, more so for clearance sales. Christmas is a good time to clear all your unsold inventories before they become unsellable, or just to clear space in your inventory in preparation for new stocks for next year. Drop your prices just enough to cover your expenses, and perhaps earn a little amount. Not only will this help you with storage problems, but also help you get your name across the market faster.
There are still a lot of things to do even when the business is down. But the most important of all is for you not to forget that each staff member you have, your colleagues, everyone, all value Christmas. Do not focus too much on not profiting well next month. What matters is for you to still enjoy life. Join the celebration. Avoid talking about company problems and pay your relatives a visit. Celebrate! After all, Christmas is still the most festive time of the year.
Ruben Anlacan Jr. is the president and
CEO of BusinessCoach, Inc.