Make more of the festive season

Unusually long operating hours, public holidays and demanding customers can be a recipe for disaster.

The best way to avoid the holiday period chaos is to have a well thought-out operating plan. The following are a few tips that will ensure your business maximises its potential.

  • Have all staff well prepared for the rush periods, train them extensively where possible and use the best performers for the busiest periods.
  • Have extra cash on-hand, especially small change. Look at the cash flow issues from the previous year and learn from past mistakes.
  • Work alongside suppliers to ensure there are adequate amounts of stock available, and have a warning system in place if stock levels suddenly drop.
  • For those operating longer hours than usual, take as many safety precautions as possible. Always have two staff members lock up together at the end of the day.
  • Issue invoices for this period as early as possible. As suppliers everywhere generally demand payment at this time of year, it may be a case of first in first served.
  • Try and negotiate a pre-holiday settlement of accounts with debtors to avoid the post-holiday close down accounts lull.

Put accounts staff on notice early, scheduling a meeting mid-year to plan the management for the final quarter, then another meeting at the close of the September quarter.