Easing pressures on small business at Christmas

Posted: Tuesday, 10 December 2019 @ 14:31

Buy local, buy British, buy sustainably. 

These are the messages that are pouring out as Christmas 2019 approaches, fuelled by consumer demand, a collective sense of social and environmental responsibility, and a newly galvanised reverence for the small business owner. However, what are the pressures that are placed on SMEs during the festive season, and how can we ease them?

For some, in retail for example, Christmas will be one of the busiest times of the year. For others, it’s when everything shuts down for half the month. Both create challenges when it comes to managing tasks, staff numbers and cashflow.

As a result, according to SME Risk Index results, 49% of SME owners work on Christmas Day, 14% don’t take any annual leave, and a combination of reduced staff numbers, cash flow challenges and supplier delays can all create extra strain over the festive period. All part of being a business owner you might say, but everyone deserves the opportunity to lay comatose on the sofa with brandy butter dribbling down their face for at least a day or two.

Financing extra staff

Any business owner will tell you that at some point, one of the great challenges is having the right people and coordinating everyone’s needs and time off. Over Christmas there are three public holidays and winter illnesses, which can make staffing trickier than usual. If your businesses reaches fever pitch at this time of year, you may also be adding temporary seasonal staff onto the payroll, all of which needs extra organisation and upfront funding.

Easing cash flow 

Those aforementioned extra staff, Christmas bonuses, overtime pay, and general extra outgoings all put pressure on cash flow at this time of year, and at a time when everyone closes early so usual payment times can go awry. While issuing invoices earlier or tweaking payment terms may be an option for some, short-term financing may be the least disruptive and most effective solution to keep things running smoothly and maintaining a positive reputation amongst suppliers, partners and team members for reliability.

Staying in touch

Communications really are the source and solution to many a problem. We all know that when we have a problem, being able to get hold of somebody is the first step to easing our minds and finding solutions. It’s one of the reasons that short communication lines are so integral to our values at Rivers Leasing. Of course, over the festive period, communications tend to reach a general all time low with the exception of a seasonal OOO reminding people that you are out of contact. Emergency numbers and checking in are naturally the gold standard, but keeping people informed goes a long way too… on which note, our offices will be closed from 1pm on Tuesday 24th December to Thursday 2nd January 2020 while we overeat turkey and binge watch The Crown.

Contact Rivers Leasing about short term finance options

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