The last weeks before Xmas is here, most businesses will not work between Xmas and New Year which will inevitably affect their cash flow in January due to the drop in invoices sent out but there are ways to ensure this impact is kept to a minimum.
Prioritise your Clients
The reality is that you have until 24th December to finish as many projects as possible and because of this it is vitally important to prioritise these projects, not by the size of the company but by the likely hood of getting the job done. Not an easy task to do if you are not used to it especially if that big client is going to have to wait until the new year for the project to be completed. This is your role as a business owner, to ensure your cash flow is as good as it can be and if this means differing that big client so that another company can pay your bills so be it.
Keep Your Staff Informed
During this last week is it important to communicate with your staff what it is exactly that you require finishing by the 24th December because without the full backing of your employees you will not get what you require. Give them project updates every day this week, set them specific tasks which will get you and your business to it’s goals, listen to their ideas, they may well come up with a viable solution to one or more of the projects and most importantly remember it is Xmas the season to be jolly, have some fun!!
Short Term Incentives
Why not have a little incentive for all your employees, set the target at the start of the week, have the meeting first thing on Monday morning, listen to your employees feedback , agree on the goal and choose a reward, if you can let them choose their own reward (with set parameters that you can afford) even better as they are more likely to achieve it.
Set Realistic Expectations
The hardest job you will have to do is inform your clients that will not make the cut off before Xmas, don’t stick your head in the sand at this point, it is a reality and one that you have to deal with. Inform all these companies that they will now have to wait until after Xmas to get their work completed, during that conversation set new time frames (ensure you are prepared before you make the call), commit to your client when exactly you can be finished. No one likes to give or receive these calls in business but remember you client is also running a business and they will be going through the same process (and if they are not get them to read this article!) and will understand where you are coming from.
A little bit of preparation now will help that cash flow come through on the 20th January when your invoices are due, you will be thankful for it especially after having to pay out all that holiday pay!!
Have a wonderful and prosperous Xmas and New Year