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11 months ago

How Does Christmas Impact Small Businesses?

Updated for Christmas 2022

It's getting cold, dazzling lights are draped over trees and there's glitter and tinsel everywhere. It can only mean one thing; Christmas is nearly here. For many small businesses, the Christmas period has a significant impact on annual profits. It can result in record sales and lots of cheer or a few silent nights. In this article, we explore how Christmas impacts UK small businesses, including what you can do to ensure that your business gets to enjoy a very Merry Christmas.

Christmas Expectations by Numbers

We all have our own connotations of what Christmas means to UK small businesses, however, there is data that more accurately demonstrates how businesses are affected by the festive period.

In a study conducted by QuickBooks, 800 UK businesses were asked if the holiday season is more important to them. 82% said that it was more important, 16% said they expected no change and 2% said it was less important. In the same study, QuickBooks spoke with 2,500 adults in the UK, and 66% said that due to inflation, they plan to buy fewer gifts. From this study alone, it's clear that there's increased pressure on small businesses to stand out against the competition during the festive season.

Christmas Market

On the positive side of the spectrum, MDH reports that small businesses are gearing up for a bumper Christmas. They say that compared with 2021, 75% of small businesses are expecting increased activity in the 2022 festive period. This equates to an estimated revenue of £460,000 per small business between November and January, accounting for two-thirds of their total annual revenue on average.

It looks like there are mixed expectations for Christmas 2022. But whether you agree with the positive message from these studies or not, it's clear that UK small businesses need to act to capitalise on the festive season.

Get on the Revenue 'Nice List'

It's no surprise that retail sales increase around Christmas. From people buying gifts to purchasing new clothes and supplies for parties. Christmas is also a time of year when people who don't work in industries that get busier at Christmas have more time to spare, often taking the time to make purchases they may not have had time to make before.

If you work in an industry that experiences an increase in sales at this time of year, it's important to be prepared. Cash is becoming less commonplace, making it vital to ensure that your payment solutions are effective and reliable. Whether you need a better online payment gateway or you want to take payments in person, it's beneficial to compare what's available to find the best payment solution for your business.

Become an Online Christmas Elf

In a survey conducted by Ipsos for Meta, Ipsos interviewed 2,000 small to medium business owners, founders, senior executives and managers in the UK. Unsurprisingly, they discovered that 22% of UK businesses have shifted all or most of their business operations from in-person to online since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Supporting this statistic, in the MDH report on small businesses at Christmas, MDH says that on average, online revenue accounts for 68% of UK small businesses total annual revenue. They also say that 79% of businesses feel that online sales will be more important during the 2022 festive season than last year.

Wrapped Christmas present mobile phone photo

It's clear that SMEs have begun the shift to offering their products and services to an online model. This means that if your business isn't providing some form of online offering, you may miss out on revenue this Christmas.

Getting your business online isn't as daunting as it seems. There are plenty of tools to help you build a website and it's never been easier to start a social media profile. If you can shift your business model online, you should look into a payment gateway. An online payment gateway allows you to take a variety of payment methods through an online portal. Depending on what products or services you offer, you may also be able to integrate your payment gateway with an inventory or booking system to meet your business's requirements.

Whether your business is considering going online or you're already online, it's vital that you have a fast and dependable internet connection. It's even better if you get the gift of a great broadband deal. By comparing business broadband deals, you can ensure that your business has the connectivity it needs at the best price. Whether you need standard business broadband or a super fast Leased Line, don't forget that fast business broadband isn't just for Christmas.

It's Christmas Party Time

For many, one of the highlights of the festive period is the parties and gatherings that allow us to spend time with others. Of course, this includes the office Christmas party.

While it's easy to remain focused on hitting customer-orientated objectives, it's important to keep the people who achieve those objectives motivated. In a survey conducted by Just Eat, they discovered that 48% of employers believe that festive perks increase morale. A Christmas party isn't just a time to recognise the achievements of your team throughout the year, it's a chance to build the bond of your team and increase their belief that they're working for a business that cares.

Christmas Party

According to the survey conducted by Just Eat in which they spoke to 200 key decision makers at UK companies, 81% of employers will be hosting a Christmas party. This left only 7% who said there wouldn't be a Christmas or end-of-year party, and 12% who weren't sure when being asked. Out of those who said they wouldn't be hosting a party, over half (57%) said this was due to budgetary issues. According to ​​MDH, 67% of consumers have an average budget of £671 for a Christmas party, giving you an indication of how much it costs to ensure employees are full of cheer.

If you're one of the companies that aren't proceeding with a Christmas party for budgetary reasons, there are ways to give your cash flow a temporary boost. You could consider a business loan, however, if your business relies on invoicing, an invoice finance solution may be your best option.

Through invoice finance, you sell your invoices to an invoice financing company for a fee. Once that company has paid for your unpaid invoices, they handle recovering the locked-away revenue. This allows you to improve your cash flow and take the strain off of your business to chase unpaid invoices.

Give Yourself the Gift of More Time

Whether you're expecting your business to be snowed under with extra work this Christmas, or if you expect to be busier in 2023, wouldn't it be nice to receive the gift of some extra time? At BusinessComparison, we can help you compare everything your business needs to be a success. From Business Bank Accounts to Insurance, and everything in between, save your business money and gift yourself some extra time by comparing with us today.

From all of us at BusinessComparison, we wish you a very merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.


Jon Cole-Dalton