Friday, 25 November 2016
Here are our top 5 tips for coping with the Christmas rush:
1. Prepare, prepare, prepare
If Christmas is your busiest time, you’ll probably already be well aware that preparation is everything. Triple check that you’ve covered everything, from hiring extra staff to making sure you’ve got enough stock in to meet the extra demand. Have contingencies for restocking in a hurry, or even consider bringing in more staff if need be; the last thing you need is a surprise at the last minute.
2. Manage cash flow
All that stock and extra staff will be expensive, so it’s possible your business could take a big cash flow hit before you recoup the money when you get paid by suppliers. If you supply goods or services to your customers to meet Christmas demand, it’s likely that you won’t get paid until well into the new year. This is where invoice financing can help, allowing you to access the cash locked up in your invoices up front, so you can spend it where it’s needed.
3. Build awareness
Do your customers know what you have on offer or how to reach you? Consider last- minute promotions, advertising and other marketing efforts in the run-up to the festive season. Remember it’s a busy time for everyone so if you want to get noticed, everything you do should be attention-grabbing and drive action.
4. Beware of discounting
With the rise of Black Friday here in the UK, many companies are jumping on the deal-grabbing bandwagon. Historically, Black Friday is the day following Thanksgiving in the US, and its popularity is comparable to the boxing day sales on this side of the Atlantic. In the UK, Black Friday has no cultural significance and has been blamed for underwhelming Christmas sales over the past couple of years, as companies are discounting heavily at a time they don’t really need to.
5. Think of other ways to market
Depending on your product or service, it might have a secondary market outside the Christmas rush. For example, suppliers of fairy lights, traditionally reserved for Christmas trees, also find they have a secondary market in wedding supply, as people increasingly want this kind of lighting solution for their big day. If you can find another ‘season’ for your product, it will help to even out ‘lumpy’ supply and demand cycles.
Kayla Kerr is the Senior Content Manager at MarketInvoice. MarketInvoice provides invoice financing to businesses, helping them unlock cash tied up in invoices for work they’ve already completed.