The Potters have a reputation for doing their transfer business on deadline day having signed Marko Arnautovic and Stephen Ireland before the close of the summer window.
Coates says one reason they have left their business late in the past was down to former manager Tony Pulis, and admits they're trying to work ahead of schedule this time.
The Stoke supremo confirmed they are working on a few deals to try and improve the squad and hopes to do some successful business in the new year.
"We have got a few irons in the fire and we are working on things and hopefully something will drop for us that improves us," he said.
"We are working on it - you do need a bit of luck with these things because there are so many variables in football.
"Until you have done a deal you just never know because there is lots of competition and lots of ducking and diving and all that sort of thing.
"But we are hoping it will work out OK for us.
"Probably Tony likes to do things late, he had a view that he got the best deals that way. Now I am not sure he is right, but anyway that is what he liked to do.
"I wouldn't say no [about doing late deals] maybe because sometimes it happens even though you don't want it to happen."