Depending on the business you are in Christmas can be a quiet or chaotic time of the year. Sales either plummet or soar but each comes with its own challenges.
Retailers, for example, walk a tightrope with cash flow. Constantly trying to manage supply and demand so that you don’t run out of stock or lose money overcompensating on stock that expires or becomes dated. This can significantly wound your business before you’ve even started the new year.
It’s no different for the likes of construction, or any other very seasonal business. The slowing down over the festive season can leave businesses with too little working capital, but still with salaries and bonuses to pay.
Festive Business Tips
1. Consider your budget throughout the year
Always keep in mind that this time of year presents certain challenges that aren’t the same as other months. Make room for this in your budget and calculate what you need to make December a more profitable time of year. Plan campaigns or specials – make sure you’ve put this money aside for them as well as for other costs and expenditures so that you don’t need to grasp at straws come December.
2. People get paid early and are managing cash flow too
Don’t be unaware that your customers are struggling with the same cash flow problems on a personal level. This means they are also looking for ways to make it through the month while still enjoying the holidays. How can you help them solve this problem?
3. Partner with another business
Using your network is always a powerful thing. Take advantage of partnerships where you can offer multiple products or services if customers take advantage of either business. The agreement between partners needs some consideration but there are many ways that you can mutually benefit from one another and support one another. For example, some stores give you extra items from partners to make the purchase more compelling. Or they give you a voucher for another business that you can get a discount on. Some partners combine a joint campaign with media budgets to make sure they boost sales for both partners often at half the spend. The possibilities are endless and you need to identify what works for your business.
4. Pair charitable acts or donations with sales
Tis the season to be jolly, but it is also the season of giving. People are more inclined to do good and contribute to a worthy cause this time of the year. Something about Christmas seems to bring people together and open hearts a little wider. Your business can help underprivileged organizations and the more vulnerable, build brand awareness, and generate sales. For example, some people offer a buy XYZ and we’ll donate one/donate a percentage of the purchase towards [insert charity of your choice]. Do good this season and help your customers do the same.
5. Remember it’s Christmas and the holidays
Don’t forget what this time of year represents by getting bogged down in the details. People are relaxing, most people are in good spirits, and they want to take a break from the responsibilities of the home/office. They dust the year off and get ready for a fresh start. Let your business acknowledge that – whether it’s through decorations and getting into the holiday spirit as a business or incorporating that into your offerings. Be part of the festive cheer, your customers and employees will appreciate it.
You should take time yourself to step back and review how your business has grown in the past year and plan for 2019. But not before taking a well-deserved moment to enjoy the festivities yourself. Sometimes taking a break is exactly what leads to the breakthrough you need.
We know these are great business tips, but the reality is often very different. Circumstances are different for each business too. So, for times like these, you still have Lula. We know the ‘nice to haves’ for your business aren’t always attainable. But we work with you to make them attainable one day.
That’s why we offer business funding to fill all the gaps or to take advantage of opportunities. We know seasonally you need finance for cash flow and working capital immediately – that’s why we help you get the funding in hours. We know you don’t have time for the reams of paperwork so we don’t require it, and we know running a business isn’t cheap – so we give you access to up to R1 Million for you to use as you need not as the type of funding dictates.