Christmas can be a stressful time of year for everyone – there’s shopping to do, turkey to order, presents to wrap and then there’s the decision on where you’ll be spending the big day!!! It can also be a very stressful time for small business owners managing their cash flow, so we’ve come up with a few savvy tips to help ease the pressure.

Why is Organisation so Important?

Getting organised is one the key bits of advice we can give! Look at your predicted cash flow over Christmas and if you envisage a slow return or late payments coming in, plan ahead so you can put money aside to cover costs such as wages, bills, stock replenishment and staffing issues. Will you need extra staff over the Christmas period? Take all of these things into account and it should help you stay on track if you do find things are a little slow.

Why Should You Look at Your Spending?

The temptation to buy lots of lovely new stockin run up to Christmas can be all too real, but try and be realistic in your spending.Look ahead and budget for potential quiet periods after Christmas and make sure you have enough in the budget to cover your bills and wages. Also look at what other outgoings you may have over the festive season – do you give your employees a Christmas bonus and a Christmas party? There are ways of doing these on a budget – you could spread the bonuses across two months or have a low key office party instead of hiring a venue and making it a lavish affair. You could always show your appreciation in a different way such as a staff pamper party which may be cheaper in the long run!

Is Communication Key with Your Customers?

Be clear with your customers when their payment is due, that way you will have a better idea of your forthcoming cashflow. You may want to consider a penalty for late payments. Let your customers know your working hours over the Christmas period, delivery times and last order dates. A poster in your shop window or a flyer can be a great way of letting people know these things.

How Can You Take Advantage of Quiet Times?

Use quiet periods to your advantage and use the time to plan ahead for your business and do staff training if needed. Catch up on admin – this may not be your favourite part of running your business, but it is still important to do! Maybe you can do appraisals for your employees making them feel valued. Set new targets and goals and look at ways to boost sales! Your quiet times will soon be busy!!

Get Equipped with Contactless Technology

Contactless payment machines bring a plethora of benefits to business owners and customers alike. As the big festive day approaches, people will expect to be able to pay for goods quickly and lengthy queues can lead to disgruntled customers. Offering contactless technology and accepting card payments also adds credibility to a business.

In today’s tough economic climate offering card payments to customers can encourage impulse purchases whilst also improving cash flow and it goes without saying that card holders generally spend more.

What tips would you share? As ever we’d love to know your thoughts.