For many small businesses the Christmas period has a significant impact on annual profits, with the holiday season often accounting for the majority of sales. However, securing these much-needed festive sales is never guaranteed and for many small business owners these few key weeks have a significant impact on their business.
A recent survey by Notonthehighstreet found that 85% of shoppers support small businesses, however just 25% of Christmas spending is expected to reach small firms rather than large chains. The startling figures from the survey state that if sales this year fall below average, more than 20% of small UK businesses fear they will be out of business.
Christmas is a great opportunity for increased sales; however, this also leads to increased pressure on every aspect of the business. It is important that businesses have the staff, products and operational infrastructure in place to cope with the change in demand. According to figures released by eBay, 79% of shoppers will look to a competitor if the product they were searching for is out of stock.
Large store closures
According to figures from the Centre for Retail Research, large retailers closed nearly 6,000 high street stores in the first 9 months of 2019. It is clear that both large and small retailers are struggling to maintain high-street sales, however the closure of large stores could be an opportunity for small independent stores.
There are still customers which will be shopping locally this year, whether this is to buy presents, enjoy a festive meal or a day out over the Christmas break. With large chains closing their doors across the UK, small businesses could benefit from the potential increase in customers this Christmas.
Opportunities to compete
It can be difficult for small businesses to compete with the low prices, deals and offers offered by the large chains, however it is possible to level the playing field during Christmas. There is strength in numbers, small businesses can work together to attract customers and boost the local economy as a whole during the Christmas period. There are supportive campaigns throughout the country which encourage shoppers to buy local at Christmas, so now is a great time to get involved or to put plans in place for next year.
If your business is nationwide or has the potential to be, Christmas is the time to push the online side of your business. Maintaining an e-commerce platform will open up your business to a large potential customer base, while helping you compete with the large online businesses. If 2018 is anything to go by, Amazon claimed that small and medium sized businesses were responsible for more than 50% of the items sold in Amazon stores during Christmas.
Consider your employees
The festive season is stressful for every person employed within your business, so it is important to always consider your employees. They may be under more pressure, working increased hours and having to cover for other staff who are taking time offer. To ensure your business runs smoothly over Christmas and morale stays high, it is important to minimise the pressure.
For example, rotating staff to ensure each person has time off, awarding additional days off, overtime pay, Christmas bonuses and even staff parties can have a positive impact on the business as a whole.
Here at BusinessComparison we know the struggles which small businesses face during the festive period however, we can help. Whether you need a small business loan to kickstart your new website, or a new business bank account with an overdraft, our team will help you find and compare the best deals.