Is the Christmas tree out of the box?  Are all the decorations sorted?  Are your Christmas cards ready to go out to all your loyal and valuable customers?  Hopefully these are the easy tasks for any business.

Then there is the staff Christmas function, this should be well and truly organised by now, along with good advice on how, what, where to prepare and in a subtle way, how to behave at the work function.

cashflow-article-36Maybe an event for your customers, it is a great opportunity to say thank you, to talk to them about the New Year and it is a great opportunity for networking.  One customer may tell another of a service you provided which they didn’t know about and they could use.

If you do put on staff or customer events don’t forget to consider the tax implications.  FBT could apply if your spend is over $300 per employee and the function is off site.

If your business is one which goes into overdrive in the lead up to Christmas or indeed is flat out during the Christmas festivities, have you done all your marketing?  Have you been working your social media strategy?  If not, you could miss the boat, or at least the profit you should be making.  Your marketing should be ready to go and that includes your website, does it have a Christmas landing page with a call to action?  Or a page which offers helpful hints based on your area of expertise to make it through the festive season unscathed.

If Christmas is the busiest time for you, you may also need casual staff, have they been organised already?

Christmas is a good time to offer a festive season discount or a giveaway, one you can afford but is also useful for your customers.  There is so much competition for the Christmas spend, it does pay to do something different, than you have done all year.  Your stock needs to be Christmas ready, do you have enough of your popular items and materials for Christmas wrapping, if you do this as well?

Traditionally bonus time occurs around Christmas, giving your staff extra to cover their expenses.  Another reason to ensure your cash flow is adequate.

With the extras for this season how is your cash flow?  Can it cope with all the demands?  This is also the time of year in Australia when many businesses either close or wind down operations, so you need to know which of your customers do this and ensure your invoicing is done before they wind down.  As some business will not be contactable until well in to January, this is an important consideration.  Make sure you consider your 30 day, 60 day and 90 day requirements.

Your business may be one which winds down, have you advised all your customers of the days and/or hours the business will be operating?

Don’t leave things to the last week before Christmas, you will be so tired and stressed you won’t enjoy your own time with friends and family, which is what the season should be all about.

Use this article as your checklist, add your own, work steadily through your tasks and in the end, have a safe and happy Christmas.