How is it nearly Christmas? Are you like us and asking yourself how the year has gone by this quickly? If you are, you also need to be asking if your business is ready for what may be your busiest season.
For a business owner, the holiday season can be a bit of a double-edged sword, with a peak period for sales and revenue growth cutting against the challenges of juggling employees, stock and cash flow. No matter what type of business you’re in, you need to prepare for the holiday season.
Here are the key questions to ask yourself now to make sure your business is fit and ready for the summer holiday period and doesn’t get caught up in the excitement of the silly season…
Is your business operation fit and ready?
- Annual leave needs to be locked in well in advance to ensure you have coverage for the peak periods for your business. Having staff on a standby roster will help you prepare for additional work that pops up at the last minute. If you need to invest in putting on more staff, now is the time to start recruiting.
- Whatever your product is, you need to ensure you’re in full control of your inventory – you don’t want to be left low on supply and you also don’t want too much that you end up having to get rid of at a loss. Investing the money in the additional stock will be worthwhile to meet the needs of your customers.
- If you’re an online retail business, this is particularly important for you. While the increase in traffic to your site is great for business, it can also turn your customers off if your e-commerce system breaks down under the pressure. Spend your time troubleshooting now and set up a backup system so you can sell, sell, sell, no matter what happens.
How will your customers know what you have on offer?
Types of offers
- While your customers are in the mood to spend, think about the types of offers you can create to make sure the money is going in your pocket. If you’re in retail, you’ll be planning ahead for special offers at the peak times – pre-Christmas, Boxing Day and New Years.
- For service businesses, these peak spending times are also key. Think about selling vouchers for your services as Christmas gifts or offering special end-of-year rates to lock in business for the year ahead.
Reaching your customers
- Marketing your business in December can be expensive with so much noise in the market to compete with to reach your customer. You need to invest your marketing funds wisely to convert them into sales. Think about how you can exploit your customer database first and foremost to reach your customers directly.
Data data data collection
If this is your busiest time of year, it’s a great time to collect data, data, data. Collect and record information about your customer’s buying behaviour, best and worst selling product and services, price points, all in order to plan for next year and for growing your business.
With so many options available to help small businesses manage working capital, it doesn’t make sense for SMEs to turn to their own personal resources to meet their financial needs anymore.
A working capital loan can help you make sure your business is fit for the holiday season. Contact Spotcap today to secure your loan.
Originally published October 21 2016 , updated January 18 2017