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7 ways to prepare your business for the holidays

7 ways to prepare your business for Christmas

The countdown is on, and as exciting as a holiday break can be, make sure your business is ready so you can enjoy time with family and friends.

For small business owners, holidays have some unique challenges. Preparation, however, can help remove some of the stress so you can enjoy the holiday period and make the most of this time.

1. Pump up promotions

Depending on your business, the holiday season can be a key time for sales. If you’re a retailer, think about how you can market your business. It’s important to start promotions early to get ahead of competitors. Check out this guide to promoting your business over the holiday season and potentially increasing sales.

2. Check inventory and supplies

If sales are going to increase, are you prepared with extra inventory? Forecast your sales and targets so that you can make sure you’re covered with enough stock.

You’ll also need to have enough supplies, for example receipt paper roll for your EFTPOS terminals need to be checked. Your suppliers may not open over the holiday period, so make sure you order before they close.

3. Manage your cash flow

The holidays can impact your business’ finances. If you’re in retail, you may see an increase in sales. But if your industry typically closes over the break, this is likely to affect revenue.

Plan in advance to cover any potential cash shortfall so you can pay wages and bills falling due. There are two things you can look at:

  • Update your payment terms e.g. reduce payment terms from 90 to 30 days
  • Offer discounts for quick payment

 A CommBank business overdraft and business credit card can also help you manage your cash flow.

4. Set your payment systems up

Over the holidays, a lot of customers may choose to pay with a card. If you don't have a merchant terminal like Albert, Emmy or Leo, it may be worth considering. The extra assistance they offer through their apps can make taking and analysing payments easier.

If you've got an Albert device, download the free image carousel app and advertise your holiday offers on its screen saver.

5. Look after your team

You’ll want to make sure you’ve sorted out your employees’ pay, annual leave and opening hours early. For example, will pay run as normal over the public holidays? If not, find out when your employees’ salaries will hit their bank account and let them know.

Communicate your holiday hours to your staff as early as possible so they can plan a break too.

6. Prepare for refunds

If you run a store where people will be buying presents for others, you may have to give out refunds at some stage. Check your refund limits and settings on your payment device before the season starts to avoid running into any trouble.

Make sure you keep a copy of all transaction receipts and file them securely – you can use receipts to check the date, time and value of the sale you’re refunding.

CommBank's Albert device keeps a digital copy of all your transactions so you don't need to keep paper receipts.

Check out this video to see how to give a refund on CommBank's Albert device. If you're using Emmy or Leo, you can get the instructions from the main menu in the Small Business App.

The Australian Government has advice on customers’ rights when asking for a repair, replacement or refund.

7. Know where to get help and assistance

Have your bank and suppliers’ numbers handy so you can get help quickly if you need it. If you suspect any fraud on your CommBank business account, call us immediately on 1800 230 177.

If you’ve also got a CommBank merchant terminal and experience an issue, you can call us on 1800 230 177 any time. We also have a support page with guides and instructions that may be able to help answer your questions.

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. It does not have regard to the financial situation or needs of any reader and must not be relied upon as financial product advice. You should consider seeking independent financial advice before making any decision based on this information.