Or is it looking lean as business quietens down? December is generally an exceptional month for businesses, if you’re in retail or dealing with a company that has a 31st December year end it can be the busiest time of year but for many others it is the worst month revenue wise.
This can be a good thing, after a year of non stop hard work it’s nice to be able to slow down for Christmas, to give staff a bit of time off for a Christmas party or if you’re very generous to allow them extra time off to do a bit of shopping. However, it’s not always good for cash flow or your morale; you may be worrying where the money is going to come from to pay next month’s VAT bill or the wages (which everyone is asking for early!). And how can you make sure that the whole of the month isn’t lost on shopping trips? If December is traditionally quiet for your business, here’s some ways to make it a fun yet productive month for everyone:
1) As a long view and from a planning perspective, ensure that your business plans include some cash flow forecasting; if you know December’s likely to be slow try to put some cash aside to cover it, so it’s not a shock when it happens.
2) Keep your staff focused on work until Christmas Eve. Christmas bonuses, a small gift or that little bit of shopping time keeps them motivated but make it clear that you still expect 100% from them. If the phones are quiet it’s a good time for them to turn to marketing, updating documentation etc. All the jobs that don’t get done when it’s busy. Or get everyone together and make sure your plans for next year are ready to go.
3) Make sure your sales people keep selling. Create a sales competition for December to keep them on top of their game; they may not make targets if they’re on the ambitious side but a little competition with a token prize tends to bring out the best in a dynamic sales team.
4) Allow yourself some time off. Maybe it is time for a break especially if you’ve been working hard all year; as Christmas eve approaches think about what you can do to recharge the batteries for next year.
Above all, try to enjoy December and its festivities. It’s been a long year and I’m sure that we’re all due a break!