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A guide to preparing for the festive breaks

For many firms, this time of the year is a busy one. People everywhere are out buying presents, festive food and clothes for parties. Liverpool One, Bold Street, Church Street and the city’s other major shopping areas are full of shoppers. Even non-retailers are busier than, as they strive to meet seasonal deadlines and take care of people who are trying to get tasks like home improvements and having their teeth whitened out of the way before the holidays.

The fact the city is so busy is, of course, good news for Liverpool´s companies. However, it is important to remember that the festive season creates some unique challenges for big and small firms alike, one of which is coping with the fact that they may be closing down for more than a week between Christmas and the New Year.

Getting the closure and reopening of a business right is a task that takes a considerable amount of planning. It involves all areas of your firm, including your finance and accounts team.

Pay your staff on time

The one thing you cannot afford to do at this time of the year is to pay your staff late. Most people are relying on their wages to be able to pay for presents and food. Paying them late will have a very negative impact on staff moral and loyalty. So, you need to work out when you will pay everyone and set your payroll system up accordingly.

It is also important to review your cash flow to make sure that paying your staff early will not lead to you going overdrawn. The last thing you need is to go into the New Year with financial issues. Provided you employ a good Liverpool-based accountant, they should have this covered, but it is always wise to double check that this is indeed the case.

Continue to pay your bills in a timely manner

Even if you are shut, you should aim not to pay your invoices on time. You do not want to end up paying late payment fees or risk destroying a good relationship that you have with a supplier or service provider.

Keep issuing your invoices on time

It is also important to make sure that your billing system is set up to continue to issue invoices while you are closed. This reduces the risk of you experiencing gaps in your cash flow during January.

Catching up on accountancy tasks

Without up-to-date accounts it is impossible for you to pull off meaningful cash flow reports. Therefore, you need to plan for your accounts to be brought 100% up to date as soon after the holidays as possible.

Most firms like to run some sort of promotion in January. If sales go slower than expected, you may want to slash prices further. The problem is if your accounts are not up to date, it will be difficult for you to establish how much more of a discount you can offer without causing financial problems for your business.

If you take care of all of the above tasks now, you can potentially send everyone home early on Friday, December 22. Giving everyone the chance to enjoy a little extra time at the Christmas market, which is being held at St George’s Hall plateau again this year, is bound to make your staff happy.

Posted by Mark
December 5, 2017
Small Business

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