The Cost of Christmas

We’re just a few hours away from celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah is ending and Kwanza is just a few days away as well.  It’s the season of celebrations which can be a really good thing and it’s also a challenge for business owners.  We’ve talked about a few of those challenges this month, today I want to talk about one last challenge: the cost.  Is it really worth it to go through all this effort for just a few days of celebrating?  From travel plans to gift stress to time off to kids off to customer demands, it’s a really stressful time of year.  So, is it worth it? I believe it is.  The way I see it, it’s an opportunity.  Not every opportunity should be grabbed, but with so many people in buying mode, it’s almost stupid to not jump on the bandwagon in even little ways.  Let’s look at two examples of ways that businesses are taking advantage and winning this season.

Starbucks this year has made a brilliant move.  If you’re not familiar with the coffeehouse giant, they sell made to order coffee, tea and other drinks, snacks, and related products like cups and coffee beans and tea.  If you’ve ever purchased a mug or cup for someone or anything else that’s a funny shape or has the potential to break like coffee mugs do you know you stress out about buying and wrapping and gifting them.  This year Starbucks made the investment to pre-box all of their cups that are for sale.  Simply, it’s brilliant: there’s no hassle with trying to wrap or protect it, it’s a simple box to wrap.  If I was planning on gifting a mug or coffee related products to someone this year I would shop there for that reason.

You’re probably familiar with the WestJet YouTube holiday videos.  For the past couple years they’ve surprised people with gifts, things they told Santa they wanted.  It’s a big hit and really cute to watch. This may not bring in the immediate sales potential that Starbucks’ move did, but it does build confidence and interest in their brand. It’s also a great example of my real point today: the holiday seasons is really about the people in our lives and showing and spreading love.

Is there really a price you can put on those smiles in those videos or the relief you feel when you don’t have to wrap (and break) a mug? Is there really a price you can put on doing something for employees who have supported you and your business dreams all year long?  Is there really a price you can put on making a difference in someone’s life?  Yes, I’m sure some want to come up with numbers because that’s who they are.  But that’s not Christmas.  Christmas is about remembering that everything we do, every choice we make is about and for people.  So go out there and celebrate some people tomorrow.  Let them know you appreciate them and are thankful for their role in making your business a success.

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