Welcome to RIDO Investment Ideas TV, the new home for neophyte entrepreneurs and small business owners. We are a full time television network with programs featuring investment ideas, investment advice and entrepreneur success stories. RIDO Investment Ideas is dedicated to the success of entrepreneurs and small business, because that is who we are.


Retailers - 15 tips to follow now for Christmas Success

By Josh Hall 13 October 2011 From Simple Business Yes, we know it’s only October. But for retailers, the run-up to Christmas has already begun – and you need to start acting now. The Christmas period is hugely important. Indeed, many retailers make the bulk of their profits during these crucial few weeks. But if you are to make the most of the snowy season, you need to start planning now. Here are some top tips to help you boost sales. 1. Be prepared Christmas is a make-or-break period for many retailers. You will only get the most from the festive period if you start thinking about it now – and if you recognise in advance that you will have to devote extra resources in the short-term in order to benefit in the longer term. 2. Understand the climate You should recognise that this Christmas will be tough for consumers and retailers alike. The average shopper will have less in their pocket to spend, and your marketing and pricing will need to reflect this. 3. Ramp up your marketing There is a temptation to cut back on marketing during tough times. In reality, though, you need to compete even harder for every pound spent – and this means ensuring that your business is as visible and as attractive as possible. Rather than retreating, think about ways that you can efficiently boost your marketing in the run-up to Christmas. 4. Give your premises a spruce Your premises say a lot about your business. Make sure that they are in tip top condition – and, come December, think about redecorating in a suitably festive manner. 5. Concentrate on the customer Great customer service becomes even more important during the Christmas period. Shoppers need a reason to come back to you, rather than your competitor nextdoor – and giving fantastic service is amongst the best ways to do this. 6. Cross-sell The festive season presents some important opportunities for cross-selling. There are many ‘easy wins’ to be had here. For example, consider putting wrapping paper and greeting cards by the till in order to encourage impulse sales. 7. Run an event Evening shopping events are becoming increasingly popular. Consider opening late once a week during the festive period. Maybe offer some wine and mince pies to encourage people through the door! 8. Build an intellingent layout Think about the way your shop is laid out. Which products are customers most likely to visit you for specifically? Consider putting these further from the door, while putting ‘impulse’ items near the till and enticing products by the door. 9. Underline your independence Competing against the ‘big boys’ will be one of the major challenges this year. If you can’t compete on price, make sure that you highlight the fact that yours is an independent business. Many consumers are still keen to support independent retailers – so make sure they know. 10. Revisit your website Online sales are still rising as a proportion of total sales. Have a look at your website and make sure it’s fighting fit. Is it usable? Are there any broken links? Does it provide all the relevant information in a simple, readable format? If you're just getting started, check out our free tools for building a business website. 11. Consider PPC Pay-per-click advertising can help you reach potential customers online. Consider increasing your bids on relevant keywords – and rewriting your ads to emphasise things like free delivery. 12. Think about SEO Seasonal SEO can give your online business a big boost. Is there likely to be a change in the keywords used by your potential customers during the festive period? If so, your SEO practices should reflect this. Consider optimising your pages (or creating new pages) to boost your ranking in Google for those search terms. 13. Be flexible on delivery Delivery is important during the run-up to Christmas. Are you offering as wide a range of delivery options as possible? Immediately before Christmas, can you offer next-day delivery to accommodate late buyers? Remember your obligations under the Distance Selling Regulations. 14. Think about returns Similarly, remember that returns will increase after Christmas, and that prospective buyers will want to know that the recipient will be able to change items. Think about how you can make this as easy as possible – and make sure that this is explained to potential customers. 15. Train your staff Finally, remember that your will be under extra pressure during the festive period. Consider running refresher training to ensure they are up to speed – and above all, make sure that they are aware of any new deals or offers you are running. From Simple Business