As a business owner, managing your small business finances can be challenging no matter the time of year. Over the holidays, business owners outside of the retail industry may find themselves scrambling. While their clients focus on holiday shopping and travel plans, business owners often struggle to maintain cash flow during the holiday season.
You don’t have to wait for the phone to ring all day. There are ways for small businesses like yours to stay productive during the holiday season or any slow season. Read on for Inspire FCU’s top tips to help you stay focused and prepare for the year ahead!
Show Customer Appreciation
Showing customer appreciation during the holidays is a great way to build relationships and demonstrate your personal touch as a small business. It also reminds them about your business and gives them an extra incentive to reach out to you once their busy holiday schedule clears up.
Here are just a few ways you can show appreciation and stay productive during your company’s slow season:
- Send a holiday gift basket
- Support a local charity
- Host a holiday contest with a cash prize
- Plan a holiday event with your top clients
- Mail out holiday cards
While some options are more expensive than others, all of them are great strategies for building customer retention. This will help you start the New Year off on the right foot with your clients and may lead to additional sales. As your clients get back into productivity mode, they’ll be more likely to reach out to you if a gift you sent is sitting on their desk.
Focus On Financial Planning And Budgeting For The New Year
While you have some extra time on your hands, being proactive is your best bet for success in the upcoming year. Once Q1 begins and your customers come back from their vacations, it’s likely that your workload will increase. So, avoid getting behind on your planning by starting now.
Before the year draws to a close, take these business financial planning steps to stay ahead of the game:
- Prepare your important year end financial documents. This includes a balance sheet report, cash flow statement report, and income statement report.
- Collect your business tax documents. Make sure you have your receipts and invoices for all business transactions. Don’t forget to add up your tax deductions!
- Develop a budget for the new year. This should include your estimated revenue, monthly and yearly expenses, salaries, marketing costs, and more.
- Verify employee payroll and benefits to ensure nothing is missing.
- Review your business checking account. Not all small business checking accounts are created equal. Make sure you’re getting the best rates and benefits to improve your bottom line.
By the time Q1 rolls around, you’ll be relieved that you have your finances organized already. This is a great practice to repeat every year as it makes your day-to-day money management processes easier.
Set Funds Aside For Holiday Bonuses
Many employees rely on holiday bonuses to help offset end-of-the-year spending and budget for the New Year. This is a great way to show your employees that you appreciate their hard work and value their presence on your team.
When your employees feel appreciated, they’re less likely to search for a new job. According to a recent report, the cost of onboarding a new employee often exceeds $4,100. This far exceeds the average amount for a holiday bonus.
Depending on your number of employees, giving out holiday bonuses can still be a large expense. If you’re able to give bonuses, make sure they’re consistent across employees. Either keep the amount consistent for everyone or make sure it’s clear that the amount was based on performance, tenure, full-time vs part-time, or other factors.
If you can’t afford a cash bonus, consider offering the gift of time. Giving your staff extra paid time off after the holiday rush is over is a great way to still show appreciation without breaking the bank.
For salaried employees, a typical bonus is equivalent to one or two weeks’ salary. Figure out how much you’re giving to your employees, then incorporate it into your company’s Q4 budget. Inspire FCU offers competitive business loans in Bucks County to help you finance large expenses and add more flexibility to your budget.
Manage Your Business Finances During The Holidays
No matter your business’s New Year’s resolutions, it’s never too early to start planning. However, you don’t have to do all of your business financial planning yourself. Let Inspire FCU be your trusted resource in Bucks County to help you make the most of the entire year.
Contact us today to learn more and build a solid foundation for your business’ future success.