The other day I heard my first Christmas carol in a store, and I wanted to scream, "No, not yet!" The holiday season has arrived, and for those of us who run our own businesses, it's always a stressful time.
If yours is a retail business, you don't need me to tell you how much of your business depends on sales in the next few weeks. In some types of retail, as much as 50 percent of income may come during the holiday season.
But even in non-retail industries, the holidays present unique challenges and opportunities.
So it's time for Rhonda's Annual Holiday Business Survival Guide -- my tips for making it through the holiday season with your money, your business, and your sanity (mostly) intact.
But before I get to the tips, a word of caution about this season for all companies:
Watch your cash flow! The holiday season is usually either the busiest time of year or the slowest. This means cash management is critical.
One of my first clients was a florist; December was their busiest season, but by March they had trouble paying their bills. So, if this is a high- income time for your business, put money in a reserve account. If this is a lean time, reduce expenses as much as possible and when your income increases, start a reserve account to get you through next year's holidays.