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A Stressful Business Christmas

Article By Jeff Little | | Accounting & Tax

With Christmas less than two weeks away, most business owners are head down, tail up either dealing with the annual rush of the Christmas trade period or working towards that glittering prize known as “holidays”. For those that close over Christmas, the break should only be about enjoying time with family and friends, holidaying somewhere wonderful or watching cricket on the couch (or all of the above!). Unfortunately for many, Christmas is the hardest time of the year.

The lead up to Christmas: The focus pre-Christmas is all about finishing. The rush to complete jobs, fill orders and generally tie up loose ends so everyone can enjoy the break is usually effective and successfully stressful for owners and employees alike.

Managing cash inflow: When am I going to be paid? Payment terms for pre-Christmas invoices are often forgotten, with payments coming in when your customers are back in January. While you may have a great sales period, slow collections can create cashflow issues.

Managing cash outflow: Business cash reserves are tested over Christmas. While cash inflows can be sporadic, expenses still keep rolling in. Regular payroll costs still need to be met, monthly rent and electricity, even though business is closed.

The January hangover: With customers and staff on varying holidays, coming back and getting business rolling in January can often feel like a new beginning. For many businesses, January is a slow sales month as a result, creating cashflow concerns through the first quarter of the year.

Christmas should be a time to enjoy. With the right strategic and financial business planning in advance, it is achievable! Contact your Altitude Adviser to discuss what processes you can put in place to better plan for the festive season in 2018.