The Holiday Season

20 July 2009, 13:22 pm
Speciality Bites by Paul Hargreaves

As the holidays begin, Paul Hargreaves looks at how they can boost business

I can tell from the increasing numbers of end of term concerts, leaver’s parties, prize-givings and sports days that the end of term is upon us, which means that soon a load of five-16 year olds will be on school holidays. What difference does this make to those of us running businesses and retail outlets?

There will be more children trailing around shops with their parents. The children’s sector of the speciality food market is not fully tapped into by many retail outlets. There is huge potential to sell products that appeal to children as the parents will buy things to keep them happy whilst they are doing something they want or need to do. Also, despite current trends in a downward direction in organic, there is a growing market for organic amongst children and babies. Parents will prefer to buy organic for their children even if they don’t for themselves. There are plenty of healthy, organic snacks out there – make sure you stock them!

Tourists from other parts of the UK and the world will be visiting your shops. They will just love to buy something very British to take back to Japan or the USA. Clearly these items must be non-perishable. High value and small are ideal for this kind of purchase. They may also want to buy gifts for friends and relatives for looking after the cat, dog, goldfish etc.! Some shops only stock gifts in the run up to Christmas, but there are gift-purchasing opportunities all-year-round, especially during the tourist season – don’t miss the opportunity here!

More of our own staff will be off on holidays. I used to hate my key members of staff going on holiday, as this created a stream of headaches which resulted in me working all through the night in some cases. Thankfully, with more staff this is no longer the headache it used to be because I have made sure that everyone who works for me can do at least one other person’s job. This not only ensures that you have extra cover during the holiday season, but also empowers them as people – and possibly enables them to gain promotion at some future date. It works well to everyone’s advantage – and to the company’s profit.

Why don’t you take a holiday yourself? Too many business owners feel that they are indispensable. Soon after starting my business I realized that my staff actually liked me going away on holiday, although they may not have admitted it. They relished the opportunity to have more responsibility than normal and deal with any challenges and crises that may come up. This was just as well, as the first three times I went on holiday one of our drivers was involved in an accident! Still undeterred, I continued to go away regularly, so I now have a business where I am not required for the day-to-day operation and can concentrate on the long term.

Have a good holiday season!

To read more of Paul’s blogs, visit

more from Speciality Bites
  • Generosity

    05 July 2021 Speciality Bites
    Generosity from leaders makes business better in all aspects, yet few businesses have discovered the benefits that accompany being generous of spirit.
  • We are now retailers too!

    21 June 2021 Speciality Bites
    So, the week has arrived at last when I become a retailer as well as a wholesaler. What a journey it has been.
  • We need leaders, not managers

    07 June 2021 Speciality Bites
    I’ve mentioned before that not many people can give me the name of someone when asked at interview who has inspired them most from their previous work life. This is because most people have only experienced management not leadership.