Preparing For The Christmas Rush
As we head into the holiday season, you’ve likely already been hiring and training extra staff to help you deal with the influx of shoppers. In addition to these preparations, try some of these tips to help reduce stress and increase your level of success this Christmas season!
Resolve to NOT Compete on Price
Don’t count on being able to go head to head with larger retailers based on price this season. Due to having far greater sales volumes, these retailers often have greater bargaining power with suppliers, which lower their cost. To compete as a small business owner, focus on finding ways to offer exclusive, value-added services or products that can be customised and tailored to the needs and specifications of individual clients.
Before the season gets into full swing, and as part of offering great service, conduct a “walk-through” of your sales space, whether you have a physical location or a virtual website. Take steps to ensure that it’s quick and simple for customers to select their items and check out. During the hectic holidays, no one wants to stand in a long line or otherwise wait, to be able to give you their money and finalise their purchase.
Keep Up-to-Date and In Control with the Cloud
While you might be tempted to put off upgrading your accounting and record keeping systems into the holidays, an update might be just what you need to help you stay on top of things. If you haven’t already migrated to the cloud, this might be the perfect time to do so, before the rush truly gets started.
Using a cloud-based system, such as Xero, will allow you to connect all of your systems, from your accounts and point of sale transactions to your inventory and e-commerce. Each system will instantly share information and update automatically, giving immediate availability to inventory numbers and sales data so that you can tweak your sales and advertising strategies on the fly.
Not only will migrating to the cloud enable you to respond to trends more quickly, which will boost your sales performance, it will also save you time, money and headaches as the season progresses.
Don’t Forget to Manage Your Cash Flow
As the sales begin to pour in, it’s easy to get caught up in the urge to spend that often accompanies the Christmas buying season. Put some checks into place, before the rush starts, that will help you to be able to control your impulse to splurge.
Use some simple systems to make sure that you are channeling your sales into accounts that will help you to save enough to be able to pay for your supplies, salaries, bills and other overhead costs as well as your taxes and superannuation.
The last thing that you want to do is to get carried away by the cash that is coming in and spend it all before you’ve saved enough to cover all of your expenses. Remember you will also have to save up to cover the costs that will fall due during the slower sales periods.
Just as migrating to the cloud can help you to stay on top of your inventory, sales and accounts, Xero makes it easy to see the flow of cash that is coming into the business. This forecast will help you to plan how to best use the cash strategically to cover your overheads, increase sustainability and preserve your profits.
The Christmas selling season is often the time of year that many businesses finally break even and begin to earn enough sales to make a profit. The pressure to keep up with everything is often overwhelming, and can prevent you from enjoying the holiday. The frantic pace that often accompanies Christmas makes it easy for your cash to slip through the cracks. These simple strategies will help you to stay on top of things so that you can stop worrying about your sales figures. Relax and get into the spirit of the season!