Christmas Is Near - Decorations Will Bring In The Customers, But Are You Prepared?
Preparing your business for Christmas
The incredible decorations that adorn the windows of practically every business around the festive season are not there purely to add some Christmas spirit. The Christmas season is the one in which the average American will shell out the most on consumer products - a Gallup poll estimates that 2022 will be a particularly profitable year, to boot, with the average consumer spending $800 on gifts. That’s an average, too - big families will obviously be paying a lot more, as will high-value customers. As such, it is absolutely essential that businesses embrace the principles of curb appeal to give themselves the best chance of pulling those customers in. However, simply putting up seasonal livery and bringing in the big Christmas figures could be a recipe for disaster - first, maintenance and cleaning are essential.
Surveying the property
The purpose of decorations is to improve footfall to the business. However, is the business ready for increased traffic? Despite this year being touted as a relatively mild one, temperature wise, Philly can still expect temperatures firmly on the blue end of the scale. As 6ABC highlights, falls, slips and trips are a very serious problem associated with ice - and the risk is worsened on poorly maintained surfaces.
A front-of-store that is covered in plantlife, algae, moss or other dirt and detritus built up in the dry autumn will be a big risk when it starts to freeze. The slip risk is increased, and it is likely that the business will be held liable for any damage caused to customers who fall foul of this. Full exterior and interior maintenance of any weather-exposed areas is essential, both for ensuring that the business is not subject to legal challenge, and for maintaining the good reputation of the business.
Using the roof
It’s often the roof of the property that will hold most of the burden in terms of decorations. That’s true whether it’s simple light arrangements, or if you’re planning on putting more ostentatious decorations, such as an inflatable Santa, or nativity scenes. The roof is of course a dangerous place to be, especially for everyday people - the Inquirer recently reported on the tragic death of one Gloucester man who was putting his lights up - and even for businesses.
This danger is exacerbated if your roof is in a poor state of repair. This can happen easily in autumn, where a buildup of leaves, sediment, and other detritus can impair the ability of the roof to be safely walked on and to hold weight. It will also quickly become apparent in winter, where snowfall can create dangerous snowdrifts. Once again, only a full and frank assessment of the roof, conducted by professionals, and then a deep clean will suffice.
Keeping out the cold
With customers in the shop, it’s also important to make sure there’s a good level of hygiene in the business to stop those visitors spreading disease or getting sick from being in there. As WHYY highlights, there is already an elevated risk of infectious illness in Philly, and even more so with Monkeypox added into the mix. It’s almost impossible to stop all infected people shopping at Christmas, as many may be asymptomatic - but it is within your control, as the business owner, to ensure that the property is thoroughly cleaned and preventative measures, such as hand gel, are provided.
In addition to infectious diseases, winter brings with it a greater incidence rate of mold growth - and illnesses that come from it. Mold flourishes in the cold and wet winters that Philadelphia tends to experience, and that can be deadly for a business. The illnesses caused by mold are exacerbated by illnesses that see themselves worsened by winter already, such as asthma, and there can also be implications for the premises themselves where mold is concerned.
Again, only a deep clean can ensure that mold is kept at bay. Full assessment of the nature of the property, the level of mold it may be attracting, and what can be done to clean it is crucial. Finally, this can be important for insurance purposes - it is necessary to register several aspects of a potential mold-impacted building with city and regulatory authorities, and this will impact overheads.
With all of this completed, your business will be in a good state to make the most of the Christmas season. You’ll have the decorations up to really pull in good levels of customers, and you’ll also have the facilities in place to ensure that they stay safe in your business and can enjoy the shopping without worrying about their health and safety. That’s good for your reputation, good for your sales, and will keep customers coming back long after the season has ended.
Image source: Unsplash