ADVOCATE COLUMN 2nd WEEK OCTOBER 2017
Even though many businesses have had a great year to date with high demand for their goods and services, traditionally they are now heading into the time of year where they are likely to be at their busiest, where demand for their services will be highest and where they have an opportunity to strengthen their balance sheet.
The approaching holiday season reminds us of the seasonal nature of many Northland businesses. It reinforces the importance of understanding and managing your cash flow is a constant endeavour. By understanding the seasonal effects on your turnover and costs you a can be better placed to manage your cashflow and have sufficient working capital to see you through the slow periods of the year.
From a marketing perspective if this is the season you rely on for sales, how do you stand out from your competitors, what is your strategy for special seasonal offers and how will you let your customers know about these. If there is going to additional demand for your product or service, do you have the capacity to meet this additional demand. Based on previous years how much stock will you need to carry and do you have an alternative source of supply if your usual supplier is closed over this period.
Another piece of the puzzle are your workers. Have you communicated well in advance with them to ensure they are available for work and that your planned staff levels will be sufficient to meet with anticipated increases in demand? It may well be that this is the time of the year where you take on seasonal workers. Because this is a period that is important to your businesses success it is crucial that the staff you hire have the capability to maximise this season’s potential revenue. Even if they were used last year make sure you hire early enough so you have time to train or reacquaint them with the products and policies of your company so that they can give your customers the ultimate customer experience.
Also, if this is a time of the year when your business operates on limited staff level and operating hours, how do you make sure that you are still front of mind with your customers? What contingencies have you made to ensure that when you are back to work in the New Year so too will be your customer.