Career Woman

Holidays hit your finances? Do this…   

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The Christmas/Holiday period can be a financial struggle, not just due to extra expenses of holidays and Christmas presents, but can also be a financial struggle for business owners.   Often during this time we still have our overhead expenses, plus staff annual leave, but then because we’re closed, we are not earning our normal income.

Many of our customers are also closed … so even if you stayed open, it’s like a ghost town in business.  Of course if you are in retail or hospitality, this is not the case, but for everyone else it can be tough times.    Couple that with the fact that your customers are absent and not paying your invoices either … it really makes things difficult financially. 

Now, you are probably thinking, well it’s over with now, time to move on.   Not so!   Now is the time to plan for this time next year. Tips on how to get your finances in control …

The 11-month year

To begin with, I suggest you work on plan of 11 months of income that needs to cover 12 months.    Plan now for the rest of the year so that you will have funds in place for December.

Firstly, have a savings plan … if you need $5K a month to survive, then take your overhead costs for the full year and divide by 11 (months) and you need to have put away at minimum of $454 dollars (may I suggest a nice even $500 in this scenario).   Even better, make it an auto transfer of $250 a fortnight …. You’ll be well and truly covered.   Then you can relax and enjoy the slow month at Christmas time, without the stress of loss income.  

Control client debt

Be on top of your debtors all year round … and again, hit November hard, so that come December, you can be realistic that with everyone closing down, you know you won’t be paid much.  

Vary the work calendar

If you are a seasonal business, consider what services you can offer and promote in the off months, ie:

  • Gardener – pruning, clearing gutters or rubbish removal
  • Electrician – maintenance work in quiet times
  • Bookkeeper – file health check, GST reconciliation, seeking insurance quotes

These are just some examples, and for every business it will be different.   So … if this last Christmas was a challenge for you financially, start taking action NOW to make Christmas 2016 one you won’t be dreading!  

Successful businesses plan – so get planning now to make this coming year a great year for you.  

About Donna Stone

Donna Stone is a business coach with three decades of experience. She grew her own business from a garage to be a multi-award winning operation that spanned five locations nationally. Donna works with business owners and other business coaches, consultants and trainers to help them build their own success. Her Coach the Coach ™ program has proved exceedingly popular. Donna is a prolific writer with hundreds of articles written and six books published. Visit www.donna-stone.com.au

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