Unless you're a Seasonal or Retail based business, it's no secret that business will slow down around the holiday season. Right around October is where you can see a big drop in sales. These Holiday months can be rough on small businesses, so how do you continue your company's growth into the holidays? If you agree that there might not be any customers to sell during this time, what do you do with the extra time?
It's crucial to not become idle and complacent during this Holiday season. As a business owner, there's always things to be improved on and not hustling through the Holiday season can allow competitors to close in on your market. No matter what industry you're in, there's always challenges that need to be addressed. The harsh reality is – businesses fall victim to the Holiday slow season and end up closing doors.
Stay ahead of competition and prepare for the Holidays. While others slow down and sit around, get the edge with these 4 tips.
Follow up on overdue Invoices
If you're a small business, there's a high chance that there's outstanding invoices that have not been paid. With the additional downtime, make an effort to cash in on these invoices. Sometimes it's as easy as invoices that you forgot about. Other times, it's more difficult cases that need to be sent to collections – either way, you should not leave money on the table. Any money coming in is helpful to your books.
Make sure to keep note of why invoices are outstanding. Later, you can improve your billing process this way to ensure no more leaks.
Trim fat by cutting expenses
It's easy to allow monthly expenses to get out of control. When business is doing well, you do not notice the small thing. But You do not have to wait until urgent times to do a review of your business expenses. There's always ways to cut back. Where to start? Try Asking your employees. For Example: You can reduce your marketing expenses if your employees know that the ROI will not be good or You can ask for email subscription / marketing services to be suspended a month. Finding ways to trim your expenses will give you extra cash flow into the new year.
Another expense you can look into reducing is your payroll. You can increase your employee morale and satisfaction by offering an option to have 1-2+ weeks of unpaid vacation. Some Employees will appreciate this option as they cherish time with their family and loved ones. In exchange, you get to reduce pay for the month, and It's a great way to keep everyone happy.
Build up a cash reserve
It's always good to have a 2-month operating cash reserve, regardless if it's the Holidays or not. In the months leading up to the last quarter, stash away some money for your cash reserves. If times get rough, you'll be glad that you have it. You never know if you might need it for some unexpected tax liabilities or other operating expenses.
Reflect and Plan your attack
During the slow season, you should reflect on the past year of business. Meet with your accounting department to see what month was the busiest, then plan accordingly. Plan to apply strategies that were the most successful and make a note of what services or expenses offered the best ROI. Then Challenge yourself with a realistic goal that you want to beat. This will encourage growth and serve as a benchmark for you to work toward.
It's not easy running a business. But between balancing your books, keeping your employees happy and solving problems daily – sometimes you forget about relaxing. Our final piece of advice is about stepping away. Taking a Vacation will not destroy your business. The best time to take some personal time off is during the Holiday slow down. Going away for a vacation can do wonders for your thought process. According to (Forbes), 3/5 people reported having better clarity with their thoughts after an extended vacation. Use our tips to ensure productive use of your downtime.