Santa Claus is coming – Some tips to prepare Your business for Christmas
Christmas is often a crazy time of the year – it might be the most profitable and busy time of the year for your business, or it might be the time of the year that you choose to close, or it is not busy enough. The following are some tips to help you manage your business over the festive season.
Organise your employees
Plan your staffing needs early as Christmas is often a time when your employees may wish to take leave. Have all leave requests been made and do the employees have enough leave accrued for the time they wish to take off? If you need additional staff to cover staff on leave or because your business is extra busy at Christmas, do it early and ensure seasonal staff are properly trained.
If you plan to shut down over Christmas, ensure employees are given the correct notice. Many awards require at least 28 days’ written notice of a temporary shutdown. Check with Fair Work or the award as to the requirements for your employees.
Check if employees are required to be paid Annual Leave loading. This will be an additional cost over the Christmas period.
Check public holiday dates to see if your payroll payment date falls on one of these. Banks will not be processing payments on these days, and you may need to make payroll payments prior to the public holidays to ensure your employees are paid.
If you are asking employees to work on public holidays, ensure you are aware of their entitlements, and that they are paid correctly. Be aware of the impact the additional entitlements will have on your cashflow.
Plan your cashflow over the Christmas period in advance and consider what your needs are.
Do not wait until just before your office shuts to send out invoices. Chances are your customers will also be on holidays and your invoice will not be paid until their business reopens. Send out invoices in advance if possible.
You will also still have bills to pay if you are shutdown. Managing your cashflow over a period of shutdown is very important.
It might also be a chance for you to consider offering a discount or some other incentive for customers with outstanding debts to pay prior to your Christmas shutdown to give your funds a boost and to help sustain your cashflow while you are shutdown or quieter than usual.
Estimate your inventory needs over the Christmas period so you do not run out of stock. Refer to previous years to get an idea of your needs. It is also important that if your business shuts down over Christmas that you have stock for when you return as there can be delays in delivery of stock if you wait until your return to order. Your also need to be careful not to over order as this will have a detrimental effect on your cashflow.
Relaxation, reflection and goal setting
Use the shutdown or the public holidays to take some time away from the day to day of your business.
Use this time to relax, recharge and refresh.
Also use this time to reflect on the last year – what worked, what didn’t and why? What lessons have you learnt.
And lastly, use this time for goal setting. What do you want your business to achieve in the next 12 months, 2 years, 5 years? What might you need to do to achieve this. Is there anything you would like to focus on or introduce in the next 12 months such as new products or processes. Is it time to ramp up advertising? Or do you need more staff?
Check the mail
Even though your business may shut over the Christmas period, your obligations do not. Regularly check your mail – both post and email – for any important and time sensitive correspondence and accounts.
If you have questions in relation to the above, or any other matters, please do not hesitate to contact our office on 1300 620 345.