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How to survive the Festive Season

The holiday season isn’t much fun for the typical small business owner. It’s just that the holidays are costly. Many small businesses shut down for a period of time. Deliveries don’t go out the door. Key people in your business go on holiday. Your customers are distracted and also go on holiday. There are the festive season parties and other distractions. It’s all good and fun but let’s face it: it’s expensive.

The festive season impacts small businesses in different ways. Retail businesses often experience their highest sales, but other businesses may suffer a decrease in production and sales.

There are a few things that small business owners need to consider to stay on track and make the festive period more enjoyable for all. Let’s take a look:

Spread the festivity

Keep customers engaged with a festive environment in your business. Why not think up some special promotions for your customers? We all love it when we get a little something extra, so get creative with your promotion ideas. Keep customers and staff engaged by promoting a festive environment in your business. You’ll find that most people will appreciate a bit of festive cheer when trying to survive the silly season!

Make your business a great place to return to in the New Year

Before your business closes for the holiday period make sure everything is spotless to survive you not being there, and make it a great place to return to in the New Year. Do the necessary repairs and maintenance and ensure all the equipment is functioning properly. Be ready for your biggest year yet!

Be brutal on the expenses and protect your cash flow

Put off expenses that can wait until cash flow is more abundant. Chase your outstanding debtors aggressively prior to the start of the season and make sure all jobs and projects are completed and invoiced before the season. Cash flow challenges and declining sales and profits is the number one concern for small businesses during the festive season. Small businesses experience dips from reduced revenue and increased expenditure over this time that can affect overall cash flow. Businesses must implement strategies that will help them bridge the reduced revenue for the six weeks ahead.

Shut down if you can

Of course you’re closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, but try to close up your offices for longer than that. Give everyone a much-needed rest. Use this time for family and friends.

Reflect, reassess goals and express gratitude

This is now the end of one year, and a new year is about to begin. It’s a time to reflect on the past and make plans for the future.  Use the festive season as an opportunity. Think about all the things you can be doing to make more money next year. Reconnect with your business. Reassess short and long term goals. Dream and think bigger.

It’s also a time to appreciate all that you have in your professional life: the employees who have helped you succeed, the customers who pay the bills and the suppliers who deliver the products you need. Thank them and be grateful.

Running a business can be tricky at the best of times so make sure you do all you can to make this an enjoyable festive season for your business.

Proudly brought to you by The National Small Business Chamber (NSBC).