Getting prepared for Christmas can often take months and even years of forward thinking and planning. Here at Fosters Bakery, our product development begins months in advance and we are already thinking about Christmas 2019. Getting ready for Christmas doesn’t just involve the development of our festive products but there are lots of practical procedures we need to complete. This blog post explains how we prepare for Christmas and how we try to keep organised.
Liaising with customers to make sure you know their forecasts and schedules are really important. Christmas is a busy time for everyone so high levels of communication will help both parties to make sure products are received!
As well as collecting your customer/supplier Christmas schedules, remember to send out your own. This helps us to keep our customers in the loop and saves them the time asking us for our schedules and it also helps both parties plan more efficiently.
Even though product development starts months before December, this is such an important part in getting ready for Christmas. Developing new products and ideas and getting them ready for launch is a long process which needs to be perfected. We are already thinking about Christmas 2019!
Christmas Day is the only day of the year where Fosters Bakery is closed - and we are not alone, many businesses close around the festive season so it is crucial to check your shutdown procedure. A thorough shutdown process may take a little extra time but helps to ensure your business is safe. This could include things such as security alarms, locks, CCTV or making sure your staff know how to properly shut down all machinery.
Whilst you may be shut over the Christmas period, it is a good idea to make use of this time where possible. For example, doing some maintenance work whilst it doesn’t cause disruption could be a great use of a shutdown period.
Look at how your products are doing! If you have launched a new product for a festive range, chances are it will be released before Christmas. Keeping track of reviews are a great way to gain honest customer feedback on whether you can improve your product and we always monitor how popular our products are and what we can do to make them better (if anything!).
If your business operates vehicles for delivery etc., make sure they are winter ready! Give your vehicles a check over and make sure they’re equipped with ice scrapers or any other necessary equipment for the snowy weather.
Following on from making sure your vehicles are winter ready, get your shovels and grit out as well! This is important if you have vehicles on site which help to provide reliable deliveries.
Go out and get some inspiration. Christmas is a brilliant time to have a look at what your competitors are doing, visit some Christmas markets and shows and use ideas to influence your own product development - and who doesn’t love a good Christmas market anyway?
Get your office ready and into the festive spirit. For us, we have a Christmas jumper day in December and have a Christmas tree in our office! Christmas time is also a great time to raise some money for charity - for example, ask everyone who wears a Christmas jumper to donate a £1 or so and you have raised some money for a good cause.
Building up to Christmas is a process which usually takes months and at Fosters Bakery, it is a very busy but also a very fun time for us! This list covers the main aspects of how we get ready for Christmas in the bakery but the list could definitely go on.