Christmas is a fantastic time of year if you are a kid or even a staff member about to take leave, but it’s not always so great if you are a business owner.
This time of year can bring seasonal uncertainty for many businesses so here are some tips to help you get on the front foot and manage any anxiety you may be experiencing.
Unless you are in retail or tourism, revenue can often plummet over the silly season. To counteract this:
- Make the most of pre-Christmas and do everything you can to get deals across the line before Christmas.
- Chase debtors and reduce expenses where possible.
- Watch your debt; if you need to, make arrangements with the bank and debtors now and watch your liquidity.
- Watch for fraud post-Christmas – remember even loyal staff can be tempted to borrow if the pressures on them are sufficient. Look at how you can tighten up controls now.
Christmas is the peak period for break-in, burglaries, vandalism and arson. Here are some ideas to make sure your business is as secure as possible.
- Make sure your security system, including your smoke detectors, is working.
- Set up remote monitoring and even a callout service and test to make sure it all works.
- Invest in a security camera that can be monitored remotely. If you can’t afford a couple of hundred dollars to do this then fake it by putting “this premises is monitored by security” stickers on doors and windows.
Systems and Equipment
- Do you have sufficient stock to get you through this period?
- Do you have emergency contact details for all your suppliers and service people who know how to fix every piece of operational equipment your business relies upon?
- If you rely on your website for sales, do you have a website monitoring system that alerts you the moment something goes wrong?
- Have you got systems in place if there is a power blackout or if your server is down? For example, have you considered cloud based services for your IT systems? Have you considered using more than one internet carrier or investing in a 4G modem?
Mother Nature has been known to unleash her fury this time of year so make sure your insurances are all up to date.
- Take photos of all your current equipment and insurance documents and put them online in a Dropbox or other cloud service.
- Is your procedure manual up to date and does it clearly outline what to do in the event of an emergency?
Whilst this is by no means an exhaustive list hopefully it will help you be better prepared to manage your business over the silly season and into the New Year.