The countdown is on until the end of the year, so let’s make the next few weeks count!
The key to making the most of the next few weeks is making an end of year business plan now.
This will make sure you’re able to finish 2016 off strong.
Here’s a six-point plan to put into action so you’re not rushing around when it should be time to relax.
- Review your stock
- Review your sales plan
- Create your campaign plan
- Prepare staff rosters
- Get cashed up
- Relax and be present
1. Review your stock
If I asked you much stock you have, could you give me a figure by the end of today?
Some businesses think they know how much stock they have, but when they do a stocktake they are often surprised at just how much they have.
They may also be surprised at how much money they have tied up in the stock.
For instance, you may still owe people for that stock, or have used an overdraft or credit card to pay for that stock.
So why not spend a few hours evaluating exactly what stock you have whether there are any payments outstanding.
Many businesses carry far too much stock and the end of the year is a great time to reduce this.
You will also need to plan what stock you will need for the new year, as many of your suppliers will close during this period.
Let’s face it, you don’t want your holiday interrupted sourcing new stock or missing out on sales which will mean giving business to your competitors.
A great way to manage stock is using online accounting software such as MYOB AccountRight. It’s so advanced you’ll always be able to track what you buy and sell.
2. Review your sales plan
It’s a great idea to set a sales budget for the new year period.
Ask yourself what sales levels you want to achieve? Break this down to a daily or weekly target. Keep tracking your results and adjust your sales plan regularly.
Remember the old saying: “what gets measured, gets managed”.
Sales targets are no different.
By this stage you may have done a stocktake – if you’ve done that, did you notice that certain lines haven’t moved?
Have you thought about altering your sales tactics to see what can be done to sell these items?
Perhaps you’ve thought about altering the sales price to what you paid for it so you at least break even. Perhaps you can then use that money to reinvest in new stock lines in the new year to give you a better margin?
3. Create your campaign plan
Consistency is the key to sales, so create your end of year campaigns to get the biggest bang for your buck.
Will you directly market to clients that have been loyal to you all year? Or target new customers? Will you utilise social media? Will you run a competition all the way up to New Year’s Eve?
Try not to leave this one to the last minute and throw something together at the last minute.
4. Prepare staff rosters
One of the major expense of businesses is staff wages.
It’s vital you spend an appropriate amount of time planning rosters. This will ensure that the anticipated increase in sales income is not eaten away with a blowout in wages costs.
Review your staff rosters and ensure that you are rostering on the right staff at the right times to meet your anticipated demand.
Again, using online accounting programs is a good way to go to make work that can take hours go by in just minutes.
5. Get cashed up
This one is two-fold.
The first part is to chase up anyone who owes you money, and I would recommend doing this from the end of November and weekly until Christmas Eve.
Many businesses close over Christmas and New Year and some don’t even open until mid-January.
They then must replenish their bank balances, so you could be waiting until February for your money if you don’t get in early.
The second part, is to be vigilant with your invoicing all the way up to Christmas Eve.
If your diary allows, try doing this immediately after the job has been completed, mitigating a cashflow crisis for you in January and February.
6. Relax and be present
End of the year is a time to relax, and spend time with family and friends. A time to recharge your batteries and celebrate the year that was.
Proper planning will certainly allow you to do this and will also allow you to be fully present in all that you do over this period.
If you would like a copy of my Christmas Countdown Checklist – download here.