Santa Claus is great at running an effective business. After conducting extensive research on the inner workings of his North Pole operations, I found several lessons small business owners can learn from the jolly man.
Full disclosure: I’m not sure if Santa is a small business owner or not. Estimates of the number of elves in his employee vary from six to thousands. That isn’t including the multiple reindeer, the giant yeti with the star, or any snow people in magical hats.
No matter the actual size of his business, I believe Santa Claus has a lot to teach small business owners.
Let’s take a look at a few.
He knows his clients
Santa’s clients are children. But, unlike Santa, I’m not suggesting you watch your clients while they’re sleeping or when they’re awake. That’s creepy and illegal. But you should know their names and something about them, such as if they’re married or where they’re from.
His branding is consistent
Santa’s branding sticks to a consistent color scheme made up of red, black, and white, with occasional hints of green and gold.
Items such as candy canes, Christmas trees, and vintage wooden toys permeate his marketing materials (such as greeting cards and wrapping paper).
In addition, his trademark phrase is memorable, succinct, and instantly recognizable: “Ho, ho, ho! Merry Christmas!” The fact that he says it every year throughout a wide variety of media shows a commitment to his branding that we can all admire.
He meets deadlines
Christmas Eve isn’t the only deadline Santa has to meet. If he wants to deliver presents on this day, he must meet self-imposed deadlines throughout the year.
He reviews his work
After Santa creates a list of good/naughty boys and girls, he checks it twice. We can all learn from this by going over our most important documents once or twice to ensure the information is correct.
He isn’t afraid to do the tough stuff
Going down a chimney is no easy feat—especially if a fire still burns in it. And he is committed to eating the cookies (no matter how stale) and drinking the milk (even if it has soured) that children put out for him on Christmas Eve.
Furthermore, he must contend with cold and/or stormy weather and the stench of reindeer for an entire night.
You may not need to pull an all-nighter like Santa every year. But you have to be willing to put in the hard work necessary to meet your deadlines.
Children all over the world depend on Santa Claus and his team to deliver toys. Rain or shine, they know he will show up with his reindeer and a sack full of gifts.
This level of dependency is something all small business owners can aspire to. We don’t want our customers to have any doubt that we’ll show up when we say we are.