Today, we will be exploring three critical questions every SME should be asking themselves, so they are prepared for some of the challenges that might lie just around the corner.

What does trading look like before Christmas? 

What should you be asking yourself about changes to your business trading in the lead-up to Christmas? We recommend you evaluate your operations by asking these simple questions:

  • Do you stock enough inventory to handle your anticipated increase in demand?
  • Do you have the working capital to order extra stock quickly?
  • Is there a need for short-term staff?
  • Will existing staff be paid for overtime?
  • If you’ve ticked these boxes – Do you have the cash flow to meet these additional demands?

How much can you afford when it comes to a shutdown during the festive season?

Take advantage of the end of year closure to give yourself and your team some downtime. You will be back to the grindstone before you know it. So relax, unwind, and recharge while you can. Try to make the most of your free time by stepping away from the screens, enjoying nature or spending time with your family.

Now is a perfect time to begin planning your break so that everyone knows your schedule. This also means it’s critical to examine how much will need to be paid in wages and leave, then balancing this with invoices to be paid in the context of your business’s forecasted cash flow. If you haven’t already done this, by determining these figures today, you can get ahead of the game, plan accordingly and hopefully enjoying those days on the beach without the headaches during your downtime.

Are January payments on schedule to cover outgoings?

Do you have customers that are regularly slow to pay their invoices? If so, you’ll need to put systems in place before January in anticipation of this cohort being overdue again in the new year.  January is a notoriously slow period for many industries as staff trickle back and systems slowly get rolling again.

To help predict your expenses and cash flow so that you don’t have a shortfall over the holiday season, try this handy working capital calculator.  It’s quick and easy to use, but if you feel your numbers just aren’t stacking up, why not drop us a line?