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Credit: Kevin Dowling

Christmas Sales Bonanza: Fact check and five cash flow hacks

Research by leading small business lender OnDeck Australia has dispelled the myth that the festive season is a sales bonanza for the nation’s small businesses.

Among 500 small businesses surveyed by OnDeck, just one in five (22%) said Christmas is a peak revenue period.

Drilling down further into OnDeck’s findings, only one in two (49%) small retailers point to the festive period as a critical sales period.

Cameron Poolman suggests five ways small businesses can maximise the festive season’s trading potential and minimise the costs:

Leverage rapid finance to tap into discounted trading stock

Small retailers may be able to secure discounted trading stock by offering faster or upfront payment terms to suppliers. Timely access to funding can give small business retailers the cashflow needed to leverage discounts or special offers from suppliers.

Bolster online capabilities

As more Australians head online for purchases, now is the time to invest in your enterprise’s website and e-commerce capabilities. It gives a small business an opportunity to compete with larger businesses. Consider if additional funding could be the key to upgrading your IT systems and security while taking advantage of possible end-of-year discounts on IT hardware.

Start recruiting early

Faced with a tight labour market, small businesses that need to hire additional staff for the festive season should have their recruitment efforts underway as soon as possible. This is especially the case if permanent team members have requested leave over the Christmas period.

Enjoy some ‘me’ time

Previous OnDeck research has highlighted that small business owners rarely enjoy a break even over Christmas. Yet taking a break allows business owners a valuable opportunity to recharge and rejuvenate. With the right funding, businesses can hire a locum or temporary staff, giving business owners a valuable opportunity to unwind ahead of the New Year.

Look for turbo-charged funding solutions

Christmas is almost upon us, and small businesses need to act fast to manage cashflow. OnDeck’s unsecured Lightning Loans® are available from as low as $10,000 for smaller cash flow needs, up to $175,000*, with funds available as fast as two hours to approved applicants^. It can offer a fast, efficient source of funding to maintain a prosperous cashflow this Christmas.

Mr Poolman said, “With only weeks remaining until Christmas, small businesses have a narrow window of opportunity to access fast, effective finance that can be the make or break factor to navigate the busy weeks ahead.

“It may be the silly season, but smart use of commercial lending can be the factor that helps small businesses manage the holiday period and set out on the path for success in the New Year,” concluded Mr Poolman.

Mr Cameron Poolman, CEO of OnDeck Australia, said, “It is a testimony to the strength and resilience of small business in Australia that the majority of small enterprises don’t rely on Christmas as a make-or-break sales event.

“Undoubtedly, the festive season can be a leading sales period for some small businesses. However, it has the potential to bring significant challenges to others, especially those businesses operating in industries such as construction that often shutdown completely over the holiday period.

“This can bring the potential for a rapid upswing in annual leave expenses at a time of slowed or completely halted business activities.”

OnDeck’s research identified that across all sectors, almost one in five (18%) small businesses start preparing for the festive season three months out from December 25.

“Unless a business can recoup these costs through increased Christmas revenue, the end of the year can present a serious cashflow squeeze to a small business,” said Mr Poolman.

With only weeks left until Christmas and the New Year holiday period, small businesses need access to finance now – and that calls for rapid funding decisions.

As an online, small business specialist lender, OnDeck provides a simple, streamlined application process, with funds available in as little as two hours through OnDeck’s unsecured Lightning Loan product, available for up to $175,000 in funding and as low as $10,000 for smaller capital needs.

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Yajush Gupta

Yajush Gupta

Yajush is a journalist at Dynamic Business. He previously worked with Reuters as a business correspondent and holds a postgrad degree in print journalism.

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