George Cohon, renowned businessman and founder of...
The countdown to Christmas is most definitely on, and for Canadian franchisees, the time is nigh for making sure that shifts are planned; stock is ordered; websites and social media feeds are updated with new products, sales and opening hours; and any special festive activities being managed by the franchisor are appropriately advertised and enjoyed.
It is essential that businesses carefully assess and plan shifts with their staff for the festive period to ensure that they aren't left with unplanned staff absences due to personal festive events. It is worth remembering that some staff may wish to attend their children's school events, and others may not be able to work during the festive period for religious reasons.
The earlier that you start planning for cover over the festive period, especially if you are planning extended opening hours to maximize the shopping opportunities, the better. You may need to bring in temporary staff to help, and this is the perfect job for students who will be on vacation from college.
Service-based franchisees and those without staff still need to consider and advise their customers of their working hours over the Christmas period as some clients may need to be rescheduled if there are clashes.
If you are offering festive specialties, they are likely to sell quickly, and with people hitting shopping districts in droves, it would be very unfortunate to run out of popular stock items. Therefore, you should take this opportunity to review the last few months' sale figures and those from last Christmas to make sensible ordering decisions ahead of the Christmas rush.
If there was ever an opportunity to use social media and the Internet to the best effect, this is it! Tell your customers what you have planned, when you will be open, where they can find you and what you can do for them. Generate a buzz, provide sneak peeks of new products, and if you have any festive deals or events planned, give them a push.
Franchisor-Led Activities and Events
It is likely that many franchisors will have a preference for messaging and product management this festive period, so let them lead you in determining how best to promote their brand and message. Engage early, let them know your thoughts and plans, and be flexible in adjusting them to fit with the overarching brand publicity plan.
Christmas is a time to spend with friends and family and to relax and to enjoy the festive period. While the run-up to it is likely to go by in a bit of a blur, remember to enjoy your time off when it does arrive, so you can return to work refreshed and ready for the New Year.