Christmas is one of the busiest times of year for small business owners. Ensuring that the business is prepared is essential to ensure you maximise profit potential, especially in the context of a post-lockdown world. 

Revamping your business’ marketing and design are essential to stand out within the overly saturated Christmas market. However, with the rush of the Silly Season, it is difficult for Small business owners to know where to start. 

The team at Vista, the new master brand encompassing VistaPrint, 99designs by VistaPrint, and the recently acquired VistaCreate have compiled the ultimate Small Business Christmas Countdown Prep Guide to blitz this holiday season. 

Here are some key tips:

Phase 1: Research and Admin

Devise a detailed Christmas plan – Doing a little prep and planning ahead of time allows you to skip much of the frenzy and feel more in control when the Christmas season suddenly arrives. Tick some things off your list early by creating a Christmas budget (and sticking to it), preparing your inventory and assessing which areas you want to improve on since last year.  

Conduct market research to see what other brands or competitors are doing / did last year – Once you have got a plan it is important to get inspired. Check out what other businesses do during the Christmas season by perusing Pinterest, looking at Facebook advertisements, or engaging in a discussion board to gather learnings. Start by asking yourself some key questions; What are your customers looking for this Christmas season? How will you meet those demands?

Phase 2: Design and Rebranding

Order your advertising materials – During the festive season, get customers excited about your products and offerings with virtual events or in-store deals. Then, get the word out using personalised postcards and brochures that feature key details of your events and offerings are the perfect promotional outlet. Also consider using banners and posters to announce your sale and attract potential customers passing by and existing customers browsing and considering their purchases.

“Christmas-ify” your shop or website – If you have a brick and mortar store, consider hosting a local event, decorating your shopfront, and playing Christmas music. If you have a website, refresh your designs (while staying on-brand) to get customers into the Christmas spirit.

Order thank you cards or gifts like mugs, calendars or branded promotional items with your logo on them – The Christmas period is an especially good time to thank your customers and employees and to strengthen your relationships for the upcoming year. VistaPrint has made it simple for you, by creating sample festive messages you can send to clients as you welcome 2022, along with a couple of tips and templates you can update to match. Or you can check out Vista’s latest collaboration with Alyce Tran, Christmas Card Collection.

Phase 3: Going the Extra Mile

Reflect on what to improve for next year – Order too much of something that didn’t fly off the shelves as you expected? Run out of staples like branded bags halfway through the Christmas rush? Learn from it, move on and add it to your checklist for next year.

Marcus Marchant is CEO of Vista Australia.