Many businesses depend on the Christmas rush to tide them through the austerity of January and February. However, sometimes this seasonal opportunity requires an upfront investment that you might not have at the time. Whether it’s your first year in business or you’ve experienced a slump in the fall, collecting the funds to put into Christmas production or retail can be a challenge.
There’s always a risk in business, but there are a few things that you can do to make the most of your Christmas investment and make it worth all the initial trouble.
- Start Putting Money Away Early
Whether your business involves retail or production, an increase in inventory is something that can be anticipated early on. You’ll be spending more money on materials, products, and marketing than you did the rest of the year, sometimes even combined. So when making purchasing or production decisions for the rest of the year, remember to put some thought into Christmas, maybe even starting an official fund and project plan for execution.
- Buy in Bulk
Save on shipping and buy in bulk. If you know that you will need more of everything this season, purchase greater amounts right away in order to save on the shipping costs. If it’s not something that you have done before, talk to your supplier about a discount for the greater amount that you are buying. Who know, maybe they are feeling the Christmas spirit as well.
- Borrow if Necessary
Sometimes the money simply isn’t there, yet you know that if you don’t invest into the Christmas season, that laden ship will just pass you by. It’s a missed opportunity to increase your profits dramatically and create connections that may benefit you in the long term, especially if this is your first year of business. This is when borrowing money is a smart move, especially in you are confident in your ability to pay it back as soon as the Christmas profits roll in. If your business doesn’t qualify for a business loan, get an online personal loan, even with bad credit records. You’ll see that it will be worth it in the end.
- Piggy Back Marketing
Though marketing your brand at this time is important for business, look for ways to keep your efforts effective without spending all of your savings. Sometimes local business improvement areas plan Christmas events or a neighborhood comes together for some holiday cheer, whether that’s in the form of a Christmas market, outdoor caroling concert or a tree lighting ceremony. Focus your advertising efforts around opportunities that will bring people in close proximity to your store. Team up with several like-minded businesses for group promotions and cross marketing efforts that will save money but increase exposure, benefitting all involved. Alternately, double up your online marketing efforts as people hit the net as a way to avoid being trampled at major shopping destinations.
- Push the Gift Cards
If you are a retail based business, there is no better product for you to sell this year than the Gift card. It costs virtually nothing for you to make or keep in stock, while providing a more balanced result for your store. It means that you will have future clients coming in, possibly new ones that have never visited before, increasing your exposure organically. Additionally, you get to benefit from receiving the money upfront, meaning that you can immediately invest it into your Christmas stock or use it to pay off those December bills that are seem to be bigger than the Rockefeller Tree.
Christmas in an important time of the year- not just for you and your loved ones, but for the health of your business. Plan this quarter accordingly so that you can invest and pay for your Christmas initiatives that will benefit you for the rest of the year.