FedEx Christmas

Member Article

SMEs: Surviving, thriving and striving for success this Christmas

A prosperous Christmas is on the cards for small businesses – if they rise to the challenge. As online orders continue to increase and customer expectations become more demanding, nimble SMEs are set in good stead to take a bigger slice of the profit pie this festive season. But while small businesses with online operations have great potential to take advantage of this uplift, they typically lack the infrastructure of larger organisations. With this in mind, this guide advises SMEs how to ensure this Christmas is a success.

Get everything all wrapped up

Christmas is notoriously a make-or-break period for many businesses, from large to small, which makes planning and preparation all the more essential to ensuring good festive fortune. And while much of your groundwork should already be in place, there are steps you can take to fend off the cold chill of winter even now. Small businesses need to be ready to claim their share of the market, by being smart in identifying new trading opportunities and quickly accessing new markets. Be ready to be competitive, introduce deals – but only those that you can afford – and brace yourself for the last-minute rush.

Head for foreign shores

Just because your business doesn’t have offices dotted around the globe, doesn’t mean you can’t extend your custom abroad. Offering overseas shipping increases your potential customer reach and pushes your brand into foreign territory. For instance, according to recent research from PayPal, a quarter of British SMEs are expecting to boost their Christmas sales this year by taking advantage of international online demand for British goods. Selling to international markets clearly offers significant revenue-increasing scope this holiday season for savvy SMEs.

Don’t underestimate just-in-time delivery

Why not do it like Santa this Christmas and deliver your products overnight? Express services enable SMEs to be more agile, and during the busy holiday period, speedy delivery can be the difference between a customer making a purchase or not. By combining global reach and express services, small businesses are able to position themselves more competitively. As SMEs become a critical potential growth market in the wake of the economic crisis,[1] it’s essential to understand how express services can catalyse their growth through bringing their global-facing strategies to fruition.

Deliver customer silver service

Exceptional customer service is important all-year round, but in the run-up to Christmas it becomes even more so. Indeed customers will expect second-to-none service, on-time deliveries and their products as expected. This is where reliability comes into play for SMEs, especially as many small organisations’ agility means they can quickly adapt. Ensuring the supply chain is healthy, data is shared throughout, and there is effective collaboration between SME and shipping suppliers, will make sure customers experience top-notch service, despite, wind, rain and of course, snow.

[1] Edinburgh Group. Growing the global economy through SMEs [Internet]. [2013]. [Cited 2013 August 13]. Available from: http://www.edinburgh-group.org/media/2776/edinburgh_group_research_-_growing_the_global_economy_through_smes.pdf

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Martin Davidian .

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