For many business owners, the Christmas-summer holiday is a four-to-five week break from business as usual. This lengthy period of irregular cashflow highlights a problem many businesses face. So what can you do differently to turn the cashflow drought around?
1. GET PAID PROMPTLY
Be the early elf and make sure you get December and January invoices out early — and well before Christmas. That gives your customers time to pay, but also there’s no excuse for them not paying on time. You should also agree with your customers that they’ll pay before Christmas if they’re closing down for the holiday season.
As many businesses will close prior to Christmas for the summer break, if you miss the payment run this could impact on your cashflow during the holiday period.
Don’t let your business admin slip in the rushed lead-up to Christmas. This is the most important time of the year to stay on top of your invoicing. You may find that many customers will be slow to pay because their businesses are closed over the Christmas period.
2. CUT COSTS
You don’t have to go the full Scrooge to cut costs. After all, shrinking a business isn’t the best way to guarantee an effective cash flow.
Look at the expenses that generate results. If there’s spending that’s not going anywhere, that’s the sort of free gift you don’t want to be giving away this festive season. Make a resolution; if the money is not generating income, don’t spend it.
3. SORT OUT YOUR SUPPLIERS
Are there some suppliers that have fallen off your Christmas card list? Have a clean out and review old supplier agreements. Use the new year to renegotiate better terms and conditions, cheaper fees or added value from suppliers who might have gotten as stale as last year’s mince pies.
Monitor the market and see what others are offering. Shop around and take advantage of any seasonal volatility that could see a good return or an opportunity to dispose of seemingly unsaleable stock.
4. KEEP SOME CASH IN RESERVE
Having a respectable stash of cash squirrelled away in a separate account could be the difference between Santa going Ho! Ho! Ho! rather than Oh No! No! No!