Organizing Your Small Business Finances for the Holiday Season

small business financesThe holiday season is the biggest spending season throughout the year. However, it can also be the most uncertain one. If you own a small business, the best thing you can do to bump your sales is to be ready, set, go before the holiday season starts.

The holiday season is usually difficult to predict, especially now in COVID times. So, organizing your small business finances before the holiday season is one of the ways you can protect your small business. Keep reading if you want to know how.

Organizing your small business finances: have clear goals

Whether your small business is new or has been in the market for quite some time now, you need to set your goals and act on them. 

If you have owned the business for a few years, get numbers from previous holiday seasons, to know what exactly you need to expect. If it is a jump in sales, you need to prepare for that – stock up, order additional materials, boost your online presence – the works. 

if, however, it was quieter during the holiday seasons than the rest of the year, try to find out if people with businesses similar to yours had the same problem. If not, you need to look at what you did and correct those mistakes for better sales this year. 

And if you are new on the market, try to find out how other businesses earn during the holiday season. You can even do a little poll, asking entrepreneurs what they would do differently if they were starting now, and then correcting their mistakes, instead of making your own. 

Prepare for market trends and stock up

The worst thing you can do is let your business go out of stock. The holiday season is the busiest, most demanding season during the year, and even if you could order additional items, it could take longer to get delivered, or you can end up paying more than you can sell for. 

If you need to stock up substantially, make sure you do so while also keeping your spending under control. There are small-business credit cards you can use to earn rewards on your purchases, to help keep costs down while still preparing for a spike in sales. 

Additionally, with all the restrictions set on imports, it might be a good idea to consider getting your supplies from local vendors, to avoid issues when importing goods. If that is possible, consider reaching out to some local shops and setting partnerships, or negotiating a lower price to make it worth your while. 

You want to keep your customers happy and coming back. However, you should not do that at all costs. Price your services or items accordingly, and keep your standards high, and the right customer will find you.

Consider that some customers might not be happy with the items you are selling. Make sure you have the right insurance software that protects both you and the customer, for the best customer experience.  

Have a marketing plan in place

You can have the best items in stock, or offer the greatest service at the most affordable price, and no one knows about it, because you are not making yourself visible. You need to be present on social media, have a great blog with amazing material, and post memes and visual material.

Try to engage your audience with polls and questions, and even do a giveaway to get more reach. The holiday season is the best time for a giveaway, and you get to showcase what you are selling in a more creative way

If you do not know how to create a marketing plan, or simply do not have the time, hire someone to do it for you. The expense to profit ratio is negligible.

Capitalize on your opportunities

Getting your small business finances in order and knowing just how much more you can spend until the end of the year is crucial at this point in the year. The holiday season is always unpredictable, and you never know which trend will come out next, and the last thing you want to be is hamstrung.

By getting everything in order, you can plan for the unknown, and launch a new marketing campaign, or announce a new item coming out. 

You will know exactly how much you can spend, and budget accordingly. The worst thing would be to break the bank, and not have earnings. 

Make a detailed plan for next year

You must set your next year’s plan in stone before this year ends. 

Of course, you will have some space for changes, but the big things need to be predicted. For example, you need to know how much you will spend on marketing each month. How much goes for taxes, how much goes for renting out a store if you have one, how much goes for employees every month – you need to account for everything. 

Get ahead of your spending by accounting for at least 5% of price increase for rent, utilities, and materials. Also, give yourself an allowance of 10% of the overall annual spending for miscellaneous expenses.

Wrapping up: track your finances

Tracking your finances with pen and paper is fine if you are 100 years old and have no computer. But with so many apps and online platforms that are giving you the opportunity to monitor and track your finances month in month out, you can know exactly how to budget your entire year simply by glancing at what your expenses were like the previous year. 

Not only does digital bookkeeping let you monitor your expenses, but it also prevents you from making expensive errors. If you do not want to hire a bookkeeper to advise you and correct your errors instead of you, digital bookkeeping is the way to go.

By getting ahead of your finances, you are making sure you never end up indebted with no way of returning the money you owe. Smart entrepreneurs do exactly that. So, if you follow these tips and tricks on how to organize your small business finances before and during the holiday season, you will be all set to enter the most stressful part of the year carefree. 

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