New data reveals the true meaning of Christmas for small businesses

3 minutes

The busiest time of year for small business owners

Christmas is a time of celebrations and festivities when end-of-year parties fill our calendars, and we can enjoy much-needed rest from the year that’s been.

But for small business owners, the festive season is one of the busiest times of the year. From promotions to extended opening hours and increased marketing efforts, it’s an opportunity for businesses to increase their annual revenue, build their brand and acquire new customers.

We wanted to learn more about the Christmas period and what it means to small business owners across Australia. And we’re thrilled to share our data and insights with you to better understand how small businesses prepare for the festive season, the strategies they put in place to reduce stresses and what the most common challenges are during the Christmas period.

The Christmas season and its impact on small businesses annual revenue

Interestingly, one in three small business owners generate 11-20% of their annual revenue between November and December each year and 33% feel optimistic about the 2023 festive season that’s upon us. And it’s no surprise that business owners are feeling positive about the sale season because more than half of small businesses saw an increase of 10-25% in revenue during the 2022 period.

The most common challenges faced by small business owners

But it’s not all smooth sailing. In 2022, 83% of small business owners faced challenges over the Christmas period due to a range of factors. From the pressures of inflation to the never-ending dance that is work-life balance, the festive season is a particularly busy time that can present unique challenges.

25% of small business owners felt the pressures of inflation and struggled to manage their finances. Similarly, 24% found it difficult to achieve a healthy work-life balance and struggled to meet customer demand. 19% faced issues with increased staff costs which reinforces the pressures that the cost-of-living crisis has put on small businesses across a range of industries.

The key strategies for a successful Christmas season

This year, business owners are staying ahead of the game by implementing unique strategies to ensure a stress-free period. 30% of business owners are adjusting operational hours to cater for increased customer spending and engagement. Similarly, 26% are stocking up on products so they’re prepped and ready for increased sales. 22% of small business owners are hiring extra staff and 21% are prioritising certain products and services to streamline processes and increase efficiency.

One in five small businesses are planning promotions, offers and discounts including cash back incentives and free shipping while 19% are increasing their social media activity and extending their opening hours.

The strategies implemented by brands and their effectiveness will depend on variables such as the size of a business, its industry, the products or services it offers and the pre-existing marketing efforts that they have in place. However, it’s clear that planning ahead and ensuring strategies are in place to cope with the busiest time of year is fundamental to a successful Christmas season. 

The importance of self-care for small business owners

It’s never been more important for small business owners to carve out time for rejuvenation and rest. Interestingly, 30% of small business owners are taking time off to focus on self-care. Whether it’s celebrating with friends and family or hosting a work party to acknowledge the year’s many achievements, it’s uplifting to recognise that work-life balance is a priority for almost one in three businesses. And with the festive season upon is, it’s the perfect time to smash out sales and celebrate wins along the way.

Make this festive period a season to celebrate 
From Christmas packaging to customised flyers and banners, VistaPrint is here to help you have a successful festive season. We’ll be open over the Christmas break so you can find the marketing and design solutions that you need to stand out when it matters most.

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