As I watch my friends post pictures of their kids with Santa in malls and schools around the world I realized Santa is a great businessman. He has built an empire with a simple idea: deliver high quality products with a smile and on deadline. His customers know he won’t deliver if they are on the bad list. His team includes a loving and supportive spouse, high quality products made by his team of elves, an army of marketers known as mall Santas and a delivery system that is out of this world. As I looked at Santa’s operation I realized there is a lot to be learned from the fat man in a red suit.
Here are seven things Santa teaches us about business:
- Dress for Success: Santa wears his suit just as you wear what is appropriate in your business. Stock brokers are known for their suits and suspenders. Clowns are known for their big shoes and red noses. Whatever your profession it is important to dress the part. People trust the man in the red suit. Create that trust with the first impression by wearing appropriate attire for your profession.
- What to Expect: From Mrs. Claus to the elves to the reindeer, Santa sets clear expectations in his personal and professional life. The elves know they have a busy Q4 with the toy making. The reindeer know they need to be in top condition for Christmas Eve. Mrs. Claus knows she won’t see her man until Christmas Day and her man knows he’s pulling an all-nighter on Christmas Eve. The reason Santa’s business works well is because expectations are set and communicated to all members of the team.
- Know your Strengths: Santa knows he is good at making lists and checking them twice, being jolly and he’s a helluva delivery guy. What he is not good at is making toys and flying. He outsources to folks who are great at those things. Stop holding on to things in your business that others are can do better and faster than you. Common outsourced functions include accounting and marketing.
- Ho! Ho! Ho! Attitude is everything. If you think Santa being jolly is an accident you might be wrong. He wakes up making a choice to be jolly so he can accomplish his goal of creating a magical Christmas for us. We each choose our attitude whether we’re jolly or not. What will you choose?
- Planning is Key: A fat guy in a sleigh pulled by reindeer delivering packages to kids around the world in one night doesn’t get accomplished year after year without a little planning. Your business can’t meet its goals without first creating goals and then planning how you will accomplish them. If a fat guy in a sleigh can set a goal to deliver presents to every kid on the planet in one night I am pretty sure plans aren’t a bad thing.
- On Dasher! On Dancer! On Prancer!Santa knows how to communicate with his team. The reindeer understand what Santa needs from them. They meet and exceed his expectations year after year. At the end of Christmas Eve they know they have 364 days of rest as reward for their night of work. How are you communicating with your team, clients and prospective clients? Now is the time of year to make adjustments.
- Referral Network: Santa didn’t get to be a big deal without delivering top notch products and customer service. We wouldn’t all talk about him to our friends and family if he did a half-baked job of delivering gifts. Santa has what may be the best referral network on the planet in each and every one of us. We all recommend Santa and want to be on the good list. He’s a big deal and you can be too when you deliver top notch products and services to your clients.
Here’s to you getting what you want this Christmas!
McAuley Freelance Writing helps businesses get noticed online through content marketing including blogging, copywriting and social media. We like to say we’re Word Stylists. While celebrity stylists help their clients find their public style with clothes, hair and make-up, we help our clients find their style with words and messaging.
We help you craft your message on social media, website, blog, newsletters and other written communication to clients and prospective clients. As a member of the Gilbert Chamber of Commerce we help promote the value of small business to the local, state and national economy.