By Craig Ridley, RSM Bird Cameron Director, Business Solutions
While New Years Resolutions have become part of our pop culture, and just as easily forgotten in the real world, taking the time to spring clean your business before the silly season hits will pay immediate benefits by improving profits, cash flow and stress levels.
Our top ten things for business owners to do before the Christmas rush:
1. Review your product and service offerings and tailor the mix to appeal to the changing customer needs over the Christmas buying period and the following holiday phase.
2. Review your pricing structures pre and post Christmas to ensure you remain competitive and profitable. Put formal procedures in place to monitor competitor pricing changes and be proactive in your response.
3. Review your stock levels to ensure you can satisfy customer demand for your profitable product and service lines, and identify slow moving stock that can be liquidated as bargain buys or bundled into gift packages.
4. Review your sales, marketing and promotion plans for the pre and post Christmas periods and arrange the implementation phase before you get too busy. Ensure all staff are aware of the sales targets for each week and be proactive in addressing shortfalls.
5. Review your staffing plans and confirm acceptance of the rosters by all staff. For non retail businesses, annual leave plans need to be balanced and finalised early in December to ensure the business continues to operate effectively.
6. Review your fraud and theft protection systems and ensure all staff are reminded of their responsibility to be vigilant as customer traffic increases and the pressures of Christmas expectations motivate increased customer and staff theft.
7. Review debtor lists and actively chase 90 plus day accounts. Any amount not collected by Christmas is unlikely to be collected until February or later. Collecting money owed to you is good business â€“ it does not make you the Christmas Grinch.
8. Strategically plan Christmas gifts and entertainment to key customers, prospects, suppliers and business partners to strengthen relationships into the New Year.
9. Carefully plan staff Christmas parties to reward and recognise their efforts for the year. Remember your workplace obligations to provide a safe environment for the event in relation to alcohol and discrimination.
10. Remember that you deserve to celebrate the festive season as well. Plan some time off, take care of your health and remember your family. The New Year will dawn a brighter place if you end this one in a happy frame of mind.
This article was written by Craig Ridley, Director of Business Solutions, RSM Bird Cameron.
Craig Ridley, Director
T: +61 8 9261 9430
Mahesha De Silva, Marketing Advisor WA/SA
T: + 61 8 9261 9124