Business Link has offered advice to businesses as they make their final preparations for Christmas.
Business Link said that while it is a time to celebrate, the holiday season can create many challenges for managers. It maintains that good preparation is the only way to avoid these challenges turning into a problem that impacts on the business.
To be ready for Christmas, Business Link suggested businesses need to have thought about the following: 1. Staff Leave – Find an open and fair way of deciding who will provide cover over the holiday period if you need it; 2. Keeping staff motivated – Give staff clear targets of what you expect them to achieve, or they may start celebrating early; 3. Managing cash flow -Identify and chase important invoices. Accounts departments may go on leave earlier than you expect; 4. Security – For many businesses this is the longest period when no one is on the premises, and burglars know that. Review your security and ensure that all computer files are backed up off site; 5. Customers and suppliers on holiday – Be prepared for contacts to disappear from the middle of December.
Business Link continued: “January is a great time to review a business and to make sure it is as fit as it can be to compete in the New Year.”
To thrive in the New Year Business Link suggests businesses should give priority to: 1. Getting a health check – Review the health of your business and identify potential issues and opportunities; 2. Reviewing cashflow – Dramatic changes in turnover, Christmas bonuses and low productivity, can all have an impact on cashflow; 3. Staff motivation – Staff can take a while to get motivated again after the long break. So set clear goals for the year ahead, to help your employees stay focused; 4. Tax – Deadlines are looming. File your tax returns early so you don’t have a last minute panic.
Peter Adams of East Sussex based exporting company, B.T.S. Interiors, said that Business Link helped him get through the potential problems that Christmas can cause: “Christmas can be a stressful time as we’re out of the office for long periods of time while demands for business are still going on. However, by talking things through with my adviser and reading the advice on the website I now feel confident that we won’t be in for any nasty surprises. Business Link has certainly helped with an array of problems throughout the year.”