4 challenges (almost) every business will face in December
Business owners have a lot to deal with in December – and we’re not just talking about the minefield that is Secret Santa or the annual Christmas party. In this article, we look at four common issues that crop up during the festive season, and give our top tips for avoiding or mitigating them.
Issue 1: Three-week month
Sure, you may find yourself working over the Christmas period but, realistically, how many of your staff, suppliers and clients will be around for the entire month?
Potential stress point: Getting things done before everyone heads off for the holidays.
Tip: Pay particular attention to any change in invoicing deadlines, because some of your clients may ask for invoices before the 23rd, rather than at the end of the month. Miss their deadline and you may be paid later than usual.
Issue 2: December slowdown
Outside of retail, many businesses experience a slowdown in jobs at this time of year – not many people choose to get a new bathroom fitted in the week before Christmas, for example!
Potential stress point: Wondering if business will ever pick up again.
Tip: Every business has busy times and slow times. It’s natural. Use this time productively and plan three ways you’ll improve the business in 2020.
Issue 3: Cash flow concerns
A three-week month generally means less money coming into the business. Combine this with a potential slowdown, and you could soon be feeling the pinch.
Potential stress point: The business being cash poor across December and January.
Tip: Promptly chase late payers, and delay big purchases wherever you can. Talk to your accountant about other ways to improve your cash flow.
Issue 4: Workflow wobbles
Even with the December slowdown, many companies are short-handed at this time of year, as people take time off either before or during Christmas. Even simple things can take longer than you expect.
Potential stress point: Managing workflows on a skeleton staff.
Tip: Be realistic about deadlines at this time of year to accommodate team members and suppliers taking time off. And if your business is closed over the Christmas break, be sure to warn your clients in advance.
Got any concerns about your cash flow or finances at this time of year? The Jupp Castle team can help. We’ll work with you to plan for a smooth December … and a profitable 2020. Learn more.