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6 effective tips to help Santa Claus modernise his business

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Santa has been running his own business—a unique one at that—for hundreds of years.

In that time, a lot has changed, but there’s not been much adaptation on Santa’s part. So, we were thinking it might be time to look at ways to streamline and modernise this age-old business to work better in years to come.

Are Mr Claus’s operations really the best they can be? Does he need to work on better time management, or improve his people processes?

Maybe he needs to re-evaluate his overall business model, or consider delegating more of his delivery work.

We asked three small business experts—Carl Reader, Em Sheldon and Simon Barry—to share their views on what improvements they’d make, and here’s what they told us:

1. Improve time management by batching tasks

2. Consider wellbeing and factor in time to rest

3. Make better use of your team

4. Embrace technology to make life easier and more secure

5. Broaden your workload and find other income streams

6. Think of the upsell opportunities

Carl Reader:

When it comes to running a business, Santa really has been a pioneer. A team of elves ensuring delivery on time every time, an impeccable personal brand, and a captive market. Yes, he’s super productive delivering countless presents in one night. But I imagine he could do so much better. After all, he stops for a mince pie at every single house.

By batching his tasks—and making sure that he eats before heading out—he can avoid the ‘ramp down, ramp up’ effect of stopping one task to do another.

Carl Reader:

All that hard work, and the business ‘mince pie’ lunches, means that Santa should spend some time taking care of himself. Let’s face it, his stress levels must be quite high with the weight of expectation on him to deliver on time.

He might find that finding some downtime to focus on self-care, whether that’s meditation, exercise, or just reflection. It could really help him become more effective as a leader.

Em Sheldon:

I think Mrs Claus should definitely get some more airtime; having said that, they’re the dream team.

We are all risking burnout and that’s why time off and rest is super important, I hope Santa gets some much-needed sleep before Christmas.

Morning movement is also super important for everyone, even Santa Claus! It gets the blood pumping and is good for the mind during busy periods.

Carl Reader:

While Santa does an amazing job of delivering parcels by himself, he could gain a lot from doing less himself. After all, he doesn’t need to worry about getting our parcels to us on time if he has a team to do it.

By engaging a team to help with the deliveries and delegating tasks where he can, he will be able to reduce the risk of not getting to every house, and ensure that he has capacity for whatever Christmas brings.

Carl Reader:

Let’s be honest, Santa is a bit low-tech, isn’t he? Most delivery companies now give you a time slot of an hour or two, so that you know when to expect the delivery.

Imagine a discreet text to the parents during the day… they’d be able to whisk their kids upstairs, knowing that Santa is on his way – and able to ensure that the chimney is clear.

Simon Barry:

Data integrity and backup is essential. What would happen if Santa’s golden, one and only copy of his list were to get lost or damaged? Modern businesses employ secure backups, encrypted with the latest technology.

I’d go one step further and assign every child a blockchain smart contract, an immutable record of if they have been naughty or nice, and backed up all over the globe accessible through Santa’s tech at any point, but secure so it cannot be hacked, changed, or illegally accessed.

As we know, the environment is crucial for the future of the planet, and luckily his sleigh is powered by natural, green reindeer technology. But Santa should be more up to date with his employees.

Thousands of dedicated elves toiling away should be given proper career prospects, leave and conditions ensuring the company of being Santa is filled with happy and dedicated workers who are looked after both mentally and financially. As we know, a happy and healthy workforce leads to greater productivity.

Carl Reader:

Perhaps Santa’s biggest business challenge is the seasonality. He is incredibly busy building his brand at grottos all over the world throughout December, then the big day comes.

And then it’s peace and quiet for 11 months. Just as I’d recommend that ice cream sellers learn how to make hot chocolate in winter, Santa should think about how he can spread his workload and income throughout the year.

He might decide to get involved with other celebrations through the year. After all, there are lots of chocolate eggs to be passed around at Easter.

He might also want to work on building some regular work into his diary. Perhaps he could offer support to the tooth fairies, to give a consistent stream of new work each month.

Carl Reader:

Every parent wants to make Christmas the best time ever, but it is also such a hectic time of the year.

I’m gobsmacked that Santa hasn’t thought about some of the extras he could offer. Maybe he could drop off the ingredients for a roast dinner as a ‘meal in a box’?

It doesn’t just have to be products. Many home services businesses extend the range of what they do based on their ideal customer, so what might start as a cleaning business might begin to offer oven cleaning, a window cleaning business might offer pressure washing, and so on.

Santa is perfectly placed to offer all that, and a whole lot more. After all, he has the keys to the customer—something most businesses are desperate for—and a level of trust, respect, and adoration that is rare in the business world.

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