A Cashflow Plan for the Festive Season

 

santa-clausBelieve it or not, there are just FIVE weeks to Christmas!

All shops (if they hadn’t already started in September) are now stocking Christmas decorations, coffee shops are offering their delicious, calorific lattes and parents can be heard using the threat of “Santa won’t bring you any gifts” to control their children’s behaviour.

For many, it marks the start of a fun and carefree season; but for many business owners, the festive season can bring many a headache and with it, cashflow difficulties. With a little planning you, as business owner, can make sure that mince pies and mulled wine – rather than your business finances – are at the forefront of your mind.

Read our festive season action plan and make this festive season one to remember, not dread.

The first step to managing potential cashflow problems that may arise is to understand the issues that commonly cause businesses to experience cashflow difficulties in the first place. From our experience, these are some of the most common issues faced by British SMEs between the months of October and December:

Increase in late payments

Slow-paying clients who often pay beyond your payment terms can have a significant impact on your cashflow. If you are a B2B business, it’s likely that come the festive season, many of your customers are also preparing themselves for the period, bolstering their cash reserves and possibly holding back on some payments to assist their efforts.

Raising finance becomes harder

Many traditional finance providers reduce their lending levels in the build up to Christmas, making raising finance quickly harder than at other periods throughout the year.

Too much stock on the books

Businesses often overestimate the amount of inventory levels needed, locking up much-needed cash in stock that they are unable to sell quickly.

Overtrading

At times, some businesses may encounter a high number of unexpected orders or new contracts. Whilst this may bring new opportunities, it can often also mean that the business might be at risk of overtrading, by not being able to meet the needs of the contract with their current cash supply.

If you can identify with any of the above common small business problems, it’s best to start addressing these now. To help you along here’s a list of ten action points.

  1. Start invoicing early
  2. Confront any late paying customers now
  3. Invest time in preparing accurate sales forecasts
  4. Prioritise new contracts and clients
  5. Look into solutions for improving receivables management in the short term
  6. Closely scrutinise outgoings and consider whether costs can be temporarily reduced
  7. Invest in improving customer relationships
  8. Produce realistic cashflow forecasts to help easily identify any gaps in cashflow that need to be plugged and, if needed, raise the finance now
  9. Re-examine your supplier contracts
  10. Plan and know staff availability so as to avoid crucial business functions stalling

rebuildingsociety.com, unlike some traditional financial institutions, does not slow down during the festive period; in fact it is often one of our busiest periods as we support businesses when they need us. You can raise a business loan of £25,000 upwards over a period of six months to five years, and could have the funds in your bank within 7-10 days depending on your loan requirement.

Our business loan application takes less than 10 minutes to complete. Once submitted, one of our team will be in touch to discuss your application.

 

Thinking Two Steps Ahead

If you’re quite happy that you have your festive season cashflow in hand, why not think a step further to the new year, to the end of the tax year to be precise, April.

As a business owner chances are you often lend your own money to your business in the form of a directors loan, to help your business through difficult times, or just to invest in that next stage of growth. Chances are, your businesses doesn’t pay you interest on the loan. Up until recently it hasnt made sense to do so, as you’d be charged tax on this interest.

Introducing the directors loan ISA. Now you can use your ISA allowance to have your business pay you tax-free interest on your directors loan.

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