He has been in business for centuries. His massive operation grows year after year, but he manages to maintain customer satisfaction scores the rest of us can only dream of. And he's always happy—always. If that sounds like the kind of entrepreneurial life you would like to lead, then consider adopting some of the best business practices of Santa Claus.
1. You think you have staffing issues? Try retaining young workers at the North Pole. But by satisfying every need in his employees' lives — from food and shelter to schools and recreational facilities — Santa engenders loyalty (if not dependence) that results in a stunning voluntary-turnover rate of zero. (You've never spotted an elf at a job fair, have you?)
2. To satisfy increasingly demanding customers while fending off low-cost foreign suppliers, you must stick to what you do best and outsource the rest. That's why Santa lets Canada Post's army of volunteers respond to the countless "Dear Santa" letters mailed to the North Pole.
Outsourcing is one of 7 steps in the no-money startup miracle plan. Read the rest
3. Best-of-breed technology does not have to be expensive or complicated. When Santa needed to guide his sleigh through thick fog one Christmas Eve, he simply recruited a reindeer with a very shiny nose.
4. What cuts it in your local market won't necessarily work elsewhere. So, Mr. Claus employs multiple sobriquets — Santa, Father Christmas and Saint Nicholas, to name a few — each tailored to regional tastes and traditions.
5. Every company could use help with branding, from generating awareness to maintaining consistency in its corporate image. Santa Inc. gets it all in its alliance with Coca-Cola, which since the 1930s has promoted an unwavering and ubiquitous image of the jolly, generous, Coke-drinking fat man. Just don't ask him to put a Pepsi under your Christmas tree.