Christmas is unavoidably the most stressful time of the year for retailers, but it is also the most exciting opportunity to create profits and expand your brand and its presence. For any business, large or small, Christmas means long hours, lots of late nights, and plenty of overtime… but it doesn’t have to. Here are some foolproof ways to make sure this Christmas will be your most successful – and stress-free –  yet!

With just 6 months till the marvelous mayhem of the December hits, we all know that Christmas decorations get tacked up months before then. This means there is hardly a moment to lose in planning your build-up to Christmas. Begin by creating a calendar of your Christmas promotions and use it as a foundational planning tool for all your other Christmas tasks.

Get your promotional content written, your images prepared and all the online marketing materials designed, such as newsletters, banners and other content for your affiliates to use for marketing. Leaving this veritable mountain of work till the last minute is begging for disaster, but working on it, step by step, will stand you in good stead.

Plan this into your Christmas calendar, making sure the tasks are manageably sized and strategically placed to maintain your momentum and business stamina. If, however, you simply can’t fit in the time, or feel like you would prefer to outsource to a specialist, then putting together a concise, clear brief for a virtual assistant may be all you need to do. Handing over your copywriting needs, graphic design and marketing could make your Christmas not just sane, but successful!

Getting all of your online content and marketing sorted out early means you can schedule it to go online automatically without having to contend with last-minute glitches in the already chaotic Christmas crush. You can also send out all of the relevant marketing information in advance and snag those shoppers that are as organized as you in getting prepped for Christmas early.

By working from a place of planned preparedness, you are left free to focus your time and attention on the Christmas sales peak when it happens, rather than madly rushing around trying to put emergency advertising together, for example.

With consumers – and phones – getting smarter, you need to be 100% on top of your online retail game by making absolutely sure that your online store workings smoothly on tablet devices and smartphones. Target these cyber-savvy shoppers by creating stand-alone advertising campaigns that tap directly into mobile markets.

Reviews of your products and even price comparisons with your competition can be pulled up in an instant by the connected customer – and, if what they discover tickles their fancy, they will spend! Trends show that casual surfing from smartphones and tablets are being translated more and more frequently into sales. Make sure your online store is optimized for tablets and smartphones.

And perhaps, most of all, getting your business Christmas-ready means you will be able to do some special online shopping of your own, and have time to carefully wrap your presents and pen thoughtful Christmas wishes for those who deserve to be spoiled by you this merry season!