As the economy improves and the end of year approaches, RSM Bird Cameron is urging business owners to spring clean their business to reap immediate benefits by improving profits, cash flow and reducing stress levels.
RSM Bird Cameron’s top 10 things for business owners to do before the Christmas rush include:
1. Review product and service offerings and tailor the mix to appeal to the changing customer needs over the Christmas buying period and the following holiday phase.
2. Review pricing structures pre and post Christmas to ensure competitiveness and profitability. Put formal procedures in place to monitor competitor pricing changes and respond proactively.
3. Review stock levels to ensure you can satisfy customer demand for profitable product and service lines, and identify slow moving stock that can be liquidated as ‘bargain buys’ or bundled into gift packages.
4. Review sales, marketing and promotion plans for the pre and post Christmas periods and arrange the implementation phase before getting too busy. Ensure all staff are aware of the sales targets for each week and be proactive in addressing shortfalls.
5. Review staffing plans and confirm acceptance of the rosters by all staff. For non-retail businesses, annual leave plans need to be balanced and finalised early in December to ensure the business continues to operate effectively.
6. Review fraud and theft protection systems and ensure all staff are reminded of their responsibility to be vigilant as customer traffic increases and the pressures of Christmas expectations motivate increased customer and staff theft.
7. Review debtor lists and actively chase 90-plus day accounts. Any amount not collected by Christmas is unlikely to be collected until February or later. Collecting money owed to you is good business – it does not make you the Christmas Grinch.
8. Strategically plan Christmas gifts and entertainment to key customers, prospects, suppliers and business partners to strengthen relationships into the New Year.
9. Carefully plan staff Christmas parties to reward and recognise their efforts for the year. Remember your workplace obligations to provide a safe environment for the event in relation to alcohol and discrimination.
10. Remember that you deserve to celebrate the festive season as well. Plan some time off, take care of your health and remember your family. The New Year will dawn a brighter place if you end this one in a happy frame of mind.