Many of us look forward to the holidays, but while they can be exciting, they often come with a lot of stress for SME owners.
The key to making the most of the festive period comes with preparation, so we’re going to tell you everything you need to know to prepare your small business for the holidays.
Ensure You Have Enough Staff On-Hand
For many businesses, sales dramatically increase during the holidays, only to return to normal by February. Therefore, it’s vital that you hire additional staff to assist you during this period, even if employed on a casual basis. This not only shares the load more evenly among your existing staff, but it can also free up additional time for you to concentrate on managerial tasks.
Get On Top of Your Cash Flow
While some businesses experience a spike in sales during the Christmas period, others (depending on their industry) may experience a decline. This can put your business finances at risk, meaning that you might be starting the new year with a deficit of funds. You can avoid this altogether by ensuring you’re on top of your cashflow management, allowing you to predict and plan for these shortfalls.
If in doubt, you can also apply for a short term business loan to give your venture the quick injection of cash you need to survive the silly season. When you obtain a business loan through an alternative lender such as Lumi, you can simply apply online in minutes and receive a decision within just 24 hours.
Stock-Up On Inventory
If you know your product sales are going to increase, you’ll certainly want to ensure you have enough stock on-hand to manage customer demand. Getting your inventory levels just-right can be a bit of a challenge, as you don’t want to waste money purchasing too much stock (which may be difficult to sell) or not enough stock (so you run out well before the holiday season is over). Look at your previous years’ figures to help you predict demand.
Ramp-Up Your Promotions
If your holiday promotions aren’t already in full-swing, you’ll want to start them ASAP! Now is the perfect time to market your products through sales and other special promotions, as people are in a buying mindset. Don’t forget things such as email newsletters, social media posts, online gift guides, and more.
Make Sure Your Payment Systems Are Ready To Go
Is your small business set-up to receive different forms of payment, such as credit cards, PayPal (if online), etc? If you don’t have an EFTPOS machine in place, then other systems (such as Square) can also help.
Know Your Refund Policy
If your business is just starting out, you might not have experienced many (if any) requests for refunds. The holiday season is the perfect time to get this information under control, especially as a higher volume of sales may result in some refund requests.
For advice on customers’ rights when asking for a repair, replacement or refund, visit the Australian Government website.
How will you prepare your small business for the holiday season? Let us know in the comments section below!