Some Things Business Owners Can Learn From Santa!
Have you ever wondered how Santa Claus can manufacture millions of toys for children all over the globe and then delivers them in a single night? I mean, the efficiency of his operation must be the gold standard that we all strive for, right? From quality control to employee relations and research and development to shipping, nobody does it better than ole St. Nick. That’s why I thought it would be fun to take a close look at the North Pole operations to present 7 things business owners can learn from Santa!
As I began researching this subject, I found that there are roughly 2 billion people that Santa Claus can visit each Christmas. This takes into account the different cultures that don’t celebrate the Christmas holiday and families without children. To think that one man could visit 2 billion people in a single night is mind-blowing. Even more so when you consider that the modern flying version of Kris Kringle didn’t come into existence until around 1929. But more than the magical, the marvelous, and even miraculous aspects of Christmas, I want to key in on what we can learn from Santa’s business operations.
As you know, I look at businesses from the 8 key areas that impact their value the most. These areas, of course, are planning, finance, legal, operations, marketing, leadership, sales, and people. When we look at these key areas, it enables us to kind of dissect the business in order to uncover its weakest areas. So, when we examine these key areas in Santa’s business it becomes very intriguing.
For instance, each Christmas Eve, Santa visits roughly 108 MM homes. That means that he has to visit 1,250 households per second. In order to accomplish this feat, Papa Noel travels around 75 MM miles. This means his sleigh is flying through the air at a rate of 650 mps (that’s miles per second for the layperson). Talk about a tight schedule, folks. Even FedEx isn’t that good. So, I’ve come up with 7 things business owners can learn from Santa and his North Pole operations.
In order to pull off such a spectacular service, Mr. Klaus must plan so far ahead that everything is mapped out to the smallest detail. Think about it. If he is to drop the exact number of gifts for the exact little boy or girl at such an exact time, he must have plotted out his path from start to finish. It takes masterful and precise planning in order for Santa to deliver his goods and services to all those people. Perhaps this is where UPS came up with their “left turn” policy. They have worked out all of the numbers and found that by never going against the grain of the traffic, they cut down on the risk of accidents, fuel costs, and delivery times.
Santa Claus is the CEO of his company, Santa Inc. As you would expect of any major corporation, he also has Presidents, Vice Presidents, senior managers, and department heads that oversee different aspects of the day-to-day operations. Additionally, he has many different job classifications within his organization. These range from toy makers and designers to mechanics and air traffic controllers. So, as you can see, Santa has a full-fledged organization and everyone within the organization knows what they are responsible for and who they report to.
Before you say, “Okay, Justin. Santa has expert planning and great leadership practices, but he doesn’t do any marketing,” I want you to think about something. Santa’s marketing is so good that you can easily identify the keys to his marketing efforts. First, he is reliable. We know that every year, no matter what, Santa will make his deliveries and he will make them on time. Second, he is hyper-niched. Santa knows who his target demographic is and he centers his model around them. Because of this and a lot of branding through numerous mall appearances, promotional TV cartoons, the signature “red and white” color scheme, the entire world knows of Santa Claus.
Not only this, but he encourages feedback. He actually wants you to write him letters. And let’s not forget the ultimate customer rewards program. Every year, the people who make it on the “Nice” list receive a ton of gifts. In fact, he has a rockstar team that is dedicated specifically to this rewards program, which leads me to my next point.