Avoid Cash Flow Dramas Over Christmas

by | Dec 9, 2015

With the exception of retail-based industries, many businesses experience a slow period during the Christmas season. Cash collections are disrupted as businesses and staff leave to take a break. Most schedule special trips out of town during this season or use this period to otherwise slow down and relax.

The problem for many small businesses is that this disruption often affects the normal payment cycle, pushing cash collections as far out as February of the next year, or even longer. This delay in payment can leave many small businesses struggling to survive. If you really can’t wait the extra days and weeks to get paid, try these tips to improve your cash flow during Christmas.

Stay on Top of Your Invoices

Send your invoices out automatically, as soon as the work for your client is complete. Ideally, you invoice clients early enough so that they have time to pay before they leave for their holiday break. Consider offering a small discount for early payment.

You might also want to consider being proactive and asking clients for at least partial payment upfront before the work is completed. This will provide you with at least part of your funds before your client leaves for the holiday.

If you have clients that typically pay close to the due date or a little bit after, don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and give them a gentle reminder of your payment terms. Be careful when you explain the reason for your call and try to be as tactful as possible. Consider having another member of your staff make these calls for you to provide a bit of a buffer between yourself and your client so that you don’t lose out on future business.

Take Advantage of Debtor Financing

Sometimes, there really isn’t a way for you to invoice your clients before they leave for their break. Other times you may find that the bulk of your receipts comes from businesses that have a track record of late payments, so offering a discount for early payment won’t help improve your cash flow. If this has been your experience in the past, you may wish to consider contracting with a debtor finance company.

With debtor financing, a third party takes over your accounts receivable and pays you a set amount up front, usually about 80% of the balance of your accounts. Later, once your clients return from their holiday, they pay a third party, who will then forward the balance to you, minus their fees and commission. Expect fees and commission rates of at least 2% for this service. This service is generally offered in one of two ways: on a confidential basis, where your client isn’t aware that they are paying a third party, or on a disclosed basis where your client is aware that you are not receiving payment on a direct basis.

Consider Alternative Payment Options

If you’ve been offering your clients credit terms, and only been accepting cash and cheques for payment, consider offering more payment options to make it easier to pay. Look into what it will take for your business to begin accepting credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard, as well as alternative payment methods such as PayPal.

Streamline Processes and Control Costs

Boost cash flow by looking for ways to improve your processes and control your costs. Do you need all of the items and services that you’ve been using? Can you cut back on some items and lower your costs, or perhaps delay some purchases until after the holidays, when work will begin to pick up, and your cash flow naturally increase?

Looking for ways to increase your efficiency and lower the amount that you pay for overhead expenses such as insurance and utilities, as well as what you pay your suppliers, will all add up. Even if it’s a small amount, it may be just what your business needs to tip the balance so that you survive the holiday slowdown.

The holiday cash crunch is difficult for many small businesses. With a little planning, there are strategies that can help you to increase your Christmas cash flow and weather this slowdown.

Want to find out more?

T: 02 9699 2880
E: admin@accountsstudio.com.au

A: First Floor
8 – 10 Hart St
Surry Hills NSW 2010

What our clients are saying...

I was recommended to The Accounts Studio at a networking event and have been working with them for the last 2 years. The team have all been very approachable and available – two things essential when it comes to understanding your accounts! I now no longer have the stress every three months of getting my BAS correct and even better I have a clear understanding of where my company is financially! Thanks Sophie and TAS team!

Eleni Mitakos
Galmatic Pty Ltd

2017-10-13T04:16:02+00:00

Eleni Mitakos
Galmatic Pty Ltd

I was recommended to The Accounts Studio at a networking event and have been working with them for the last 2 years. The team have all been very approachable and available – two things essential when it comes to understanding your accounts! I now no longer have the stress every three months of getting my BAS correct and even better I have a clear understanding of where my company is financially! Thanks Sophie and TAS team!
I have really enjoyed working with you guys and look forward to a successful 2013. From the moment we started with TAS I have seen value. The figures are accurate, you are accessible (and approachable!) and most of all – you are cool people!

Chris Du Plessis
Managing Director, Origin Meat Pty Ltd

2017-10-13T04:20:03+00:00

Chris Du Plessis
Managing Director, Origin Meat Pty Ltd

I have really enjoyed working with you guys and look forward to a successful 2013. From the moment we started with TAS I have seen value. The figures are accurate, you are accessible (and approachable!) and most of all – you are cool people!
"Sophie is so professional – careful, attentive and punctual – she has made managing my accounts not just easier, but a whole lot less stressful"

Fast Ed
TV Chef from Better Homes & Gardens

2017-10-13T04:23:15+00:00

Fast Ed
TV Chef from Better Homes & Gardens

"Sophie is so professional – careful, attentive and punctual – she has made managing my accounts not just easier, but a whole lot less stressful"
Sophie has been a tremendous support and guiding light for my business. I have continually succeeded when acting on her advice and by using her services. Her products are fantastic and her ideas and accuracy is out of this world. I would never hesitate to recommend Sophie’s services and I would invite anyone to contact me for a referral.

Belinda Grundy
GM, Property Styling Online and BG Property Styling

2017-10-13T09:21:50+00:00

Belinda Grundy
GM, Property Styling Online and BG Property Styling

Sophie has been a tremendous support and guiding light for my business. I have continually succeeded when acting on her advice and by using her services. Her products are fantastic and her ideas and accuracy is out of this world. I would never hesitate to recommend Sophie’s services and I would invite anyone to contact me for a referral.
Sophie has the spirit of the Entrepreneurial Business Owner! Whether she is running a successful single family website, creating a product for small business owners or running her own bookkeeping agency she is always right on track as to what small business needs. If you want to speak to someone who not only knows what business owners are going through-she also does something about it- then don’t miss out, connect with Sophie! She is someone who can not only think outside the square- she has true strategic thinking; which is often spoken about but is rarely truly placed into action.

Sue Heins
Councillor at Warringah Council

2017-10-13T09:25:16+00:00

Sue Heins
Councillor at Warringah Council

Sophie has the spirit of the Entrepreneurial Business Owner! Whether she is running a successful single family website, creating a product for small business owners or running her own bookkeeping agency she is always right on track as to what small business needs. If you want to speak to someone who not only knows what business owners are going through-she also does something about it- then don’t miss out, connect with Sophie! She is someone who can not only think outside the square- she has true strategic thinking; which is often spoken about but is rarely truly placed into action.
Sophie is an amazing business woman. She is able to take the complexities of business and break them into manageable pieces for small and home based business owners to work with. She’s clever, creative, supportive and very generous. She’s the reason that so many small businesses are doing so well. If yours is a small or home based business then Sophie is someone you need to know.

Anne Maybus
Writer and Content Creator, Clever Streak

2017-10-13T09:26:35+00:00

Anne Maybus
Writer and Content Creator, Clever Streak

Sophie is an amazing business woman. She is able to take the complexities of business and break them into manageable pieces for small and home based business owners to work with. She’s clever, creative, supportive and very generous. She’s the reason that so many small businesses are doing so well. If yours is a small or home based business then Sophie is someone you need to know.
Sophie is efficient, direct and gets the job done. She responds quickly, keeps me updated and has a way of simplifying things and making my life easier. She is all about efficiency and that’s what makes it great to work with her, I highly recommend her to anyone who wants someone to efficiently look after their books and she is great value for money too.

Adam Dobson
Strategic Resourcing Manager

2017-10-13T09:28:24+00:00

Adam Dobson
Strategic Resourcing Manager

Sophie is efficient, direct and gets the job done. She responds quickly, keeps me updated and has a way of simplifying things and making my life easier. She is all about efficiency and that’s what makes it great to work with her, I highly recommend her to anyone who wants someone to efficiently look after their books and she is great value for money too.
I’d been stalking Sophie for a while since I saw some of the great work she did at Ideas Book. What she’s up to at the SOHO Agency is equally impressive and I’m delighted to have someone working in this space who I feel so confident referring onto others. Keep being brilliant Sophie!

Robert Gerrish
Founder and Director, Flying Solo

2017-10-13T09:30:45+00:00

Robert Gerrish
Founder and Director, Flying Solo

I’d been stalking Sophie for a while since I saw some of the great work she did at Ideas Book. What she’s up to at the SOHO Agency is equally impressive and I’m delighted to have someone working in this space who I feel so confident referring onto others. Keep being brilliant Sophie!
Sophie is an incredibly savvy business owner, for whom I have great respect. She has always been very clear and detailed in her instructions, is always very focused on her business objectives, and displays a business model that you can aspire to as a small business owner. I have no hesitation is recommending her work at The Accounts Studio.

Kristy Smith
Director, Virtual Elves Outsourcing Solutions

2017-10-13T09:30:59+00:00

Kristy Smith
Director, Virtual Elves Outsourcing Solutions

Sophie is an incredibly savvy business owner, for whom I have great respect. She has always been very clear and detailed in her instructions, is always very focused on her business objectives, and displays a business model that you can aspire to as a small business owner. I have no hesitation is recommending her work at The Accounts Studio.
I have had many a chat with Sophie on the networking circuit. Sophie has a strong profile and reputation within business circles and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her to any soho needing direction, support and encouragement. I have a passion for educating small business myself and wholeheartedly support Sophie in her endeavour to actively reduce costs for those who may be unintentionally making uninformed decisions relating to business management. Many business owners are unnecessarily outsourcing tasks which are misdirected or can be achieved inhouse.

Gai Hook
Virtual Sales Strategy

2017-10-13T09:32:05+00:00

Gai Hook
Virtual Sales Strategy

I have had many a chat with Sophie on the networking circuit. Sophie has a strong profile and reputation within business circles and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her to any soho needing direction, support and encouragement. I have a passion for educating small business myself and wholeheartedly support Sophie in her endeavour to actively reduce costs for those who may be unintentionally making uninformed decisions relating to business management. Many business owners are unnecessarily outsourcing tasks which are misdirected or can be achieved inhouse.