It’s almost hard to believe but the holiday season is, once again, just around the corner after what feels like the year has only gotten started. Before you know it, we’ll be slap-bang in the middle of the festive season and that means an increase in sales, business, and ideally, your profits. Is your business prepared for it?
We know that this period can be a daunting time for businesses and their owners on all fronts, but it doesn’t need to be. Read on to find out how you can prepare for the festive season – from using Surebooks as your small business accountant service, all the way to getting more customers through the door, and keeping them satisfied once they’re there.
The importance of a small business accountant
But before we get into that, let’s take a look at the importance of the role of a small business accountant in the conventional sense. Traditionally, a small business accountant may fulfil a versatile role with quite a wide array of duties that extend far beyond just “handling the finance”. These tasks could include but may not be limited to:
- Managing incoming and outgoing payments
- Doing bank and other reconciliations
- Managing cash flow
- Handling the payroll
- Compose financial statements
- Budget planning
- Tax management
- Risk management
As you can see, without even getting to the more technical things, the small business accountant’s responsibilities add up quite significantly. Being the small business owner that you are, you may have become accustomed to handling many of these accounting responsibilities on your own. And to an extent, it’s doable depending on your background and knowledge of accounting, especially when the business is young or small.
However, there will (hopefully) come a time, when your business starts to expand and managing your accounting will not only become a whole lot trickier, but the other areas of running your business will take up just as much time as any other. And it’s at this point where small business owners find themselves between a rock and hard place: they need help with tasks, errands, or the financials, but the business is not yet in a place where it can afford to employ a small business accountant full time – a mixed blessing of sorts.
With the usual surge in consumer spending and buying that takes place in the festive season, it’s the one time of the year that you don’t want to find yourself in this situation. You need all facets of your business to run smoothly, but arguably none more so than the financial department. After all, the capital and finances are the heartbeat of your business.
Join us as we not only take a look at how you can prepare for this in the busiest time of year but also look at how you can take advantage of the season to make it the most profitable time of the year for your business.
Preparing your business for the festive season
As a leading small business accountant and financial services provider, we know what it takes to manage the volatility that is often accompanied by the festive season for just about any business. The looming festive season should fill you with as much excitement as it does with joy. It’s not only a great time for your business to grow, but it’s also a fantastic opportunity to test the various infrastructures of your business’s various operations.
If the latter has you worried for any reason, it could be a sign that your business is underprepared, or at the very least, that it’s a good idea to take a few extra precautions to not get caught off guard. Whatever it may be, here is our guide to staying clear of any business turmoil this festive season.
Invest In Your Small Business Accountant Services
Hey, forgive us for the self-promotion here, but the importance of a competent small business accountant for your business cannot be stressed enough. The integral role that they play in the day-to-day operation of a business can be the difference between your business only surviving or THRIVING, especially during the “silly season”.
With the expected increase in sales or services your business is likely to face, the last thing you’d want is for the financials to not match up, especially when you have taken the time and effort to up your game in other aspects. Not only will this be extremely frustrating, but worse, costly as well.
The good news is that you don’t have to employ a full-time small business accountant as business owners might have done in the past as these services can easily be outsourced in today’s world. Having someone you can rely on to handle your accounting, payroll, and other financial services is the biggest and best investment you can make. Take a look at the various services and packaged Surebooks can offer you to get your business through this period safely and, most importantly, profitably.
Reassess Your Goals
At any time in your business, you should have clear goals outlined and when it comes to the festive period, it’s a good idea to relook at them, update, and/or adjust what they are so that your business can reach its objectives. Run over your SWOT analysis and see how they stack up for the busy season, compared to the rest of the year.
Make use of the SMART method when you set your goals. Whatever your goals are, they should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. When goals aren’t set up according to these criteria, there’s a greater chance of setting yourself up for failure. Further ensure that everyone involved, i.e., your staff and partners, are on the same page about the goals and how to achieve them.
Have A Great Marketing Campaign
Marketing is another undeniable, imperative part of running a business. And while you should be on top of your advertising throughout the year, the festive season is a time when your business can take advantage of the “buying state” that the majority of consumers are in already through marketing. It’s also a great opportunity for a holiday-focused or themed marketing campaign to promote your business and services if the majority of your clients celebrate the season.
A well-thought-out marketing campaign can be the difference between a good festive season, and a great one. It may be worth looking into hiring an agency for this if the budget allows it, but it’s not always necessary. An out-of-the-box idea with some good social media management to promote it might be all that you need. Whatever you do, you need to stand out from the crowd because if you don’t, your competitors will.
Train Your Employees
This time of the year is likely to be your busiest, so not only should all hands be on deck, but they should be on deck in complete competence. Additional training for your regular staff and thorough training for seasonal staff could be an excellent investment as they could ease the burden on the permanent employees. Ultimately, this will translate into greater customer service, their satisfaction, and you can get through the season (relatively) stress-free.
Boost office morale
As the great Sir Richard Branson has said, “take care of your employees and they will take care of your clients”. He even goes as far as saying that employees should before clients… Whether you agree with this or not is up to you, but you can’t deny that your employees are your greatest asset.
The busy season can be stressful and take its toll on your staff. Not only is there greater pressure at work, but people have a surge in social and family commitments as well at this time of the year. So before blindly making another office party mandatory, perhaps get input from your staff for suggestions to see off the year. If possible, offer some flexibility by enabling employees to work from home so that they can get around to running the increased errands as well.
Ensure your website is adequate
There’s no denying the importance of your website especially when it’s an online shopping portal. The last couple of years has only amplified the value of online shopping for consumers more than ever before. You can therefore not afford to lose potential clients and sales due to website malfunction.
Take a view from the consumer’s perspective and give your business’s website a small audit to make sure it’s ready for a busy festive season. Make sure the design is neat and tidy and that your customers can easily find your most popular products or services. Confirm the smoothness of your checkout and payment gateway.
Ensure that your business website is mobile-friendly – it’s astonishing how many businesses neglect this aspect. It can also be a good idea to ask someone who is not as involved with the website as you are, to give it a once-over. A fresh eye might just be what you need to notice some things that are out of place that you may have been missing.
Stay on top of your business’s social media
It’s no secret that social media can be used in several ways to complement your business. It’s an extremely effective marketing tool that also enables you to effortlessly engage with new and existing customers while establishing a brand identity.
But the primary focus around the festive season should be client engagement. It’s likely that during this time there will be an upsurge in customer queries and, perhaps, complaints. Managing them timely and effectively through social media will leave a good impression and will promote client satisfaction.
Surebooks as your small business accountant for any season.
Whether it’s specifically for the festive season or for any other time of the year for that matter, at SureBooks we know that we can help you manage your business’s finances easily, conveniently, and effectively so that you can get back to what you’re best at – running and managing your business.
We understand that one size doesn’t fit all better than anyone – especially when it comes to a business and its capital. This is why, in addition to our ready-available monthly packages, Surebooks can offer you a customised, monthly plan filled with the specific financial tools that will fit in with your budget while providing exactly what your company needs.
We’d love to help your business grow to its full potential by attending to the things you don’t have the time or resources for. We’re tech-savvy and make use of cloud-based solutions to guarantee effortless managing of your business’s payroll, financial analyses, accounting, and reporting. This means we have your accounting services optimised in a way where you have quicker access and readily-available data whenever you need it.
So, why not reach out to us today so that we can give your business a free evaluation with an accompanying consultation? We’re here to reinvent the way you do your business finances.