What can finance be used for this Christmas?
There’s a lot of planning that goes on for SMEs in the lead up to Christmas, and finance can help to alleviate stress and execute Christmas plans efficiently and successfully.
More specifically, SMEs find finance useful for things like increasing cash flow, servicing new customers/a spike in demand, organising Christmas parties and planning ahead for things like higher energy bills, public holiday hours, stock, Christmas campaigns or new assets to boost productivity. And the list goes on!
By taking out finance in the lead up to Christmas, many businesses actually save money as they’re able to target and service new customers that they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to help. With an increase in profits, they can then pay back their loan and start the new year off strong.
Getting the balance right
Having too much stock can leave gaps in cash flow, putting unnecessary strain on your business as you wait for future sales to fill in those gaps. Having too little stock means missing out on opportunities to service a spike in demand, and possibly disappointing customers.
That’s why it’s so important to get the balance right. Speaking with a lending expert can help you understand your financing options to figure out what’s right for you, and maximise sales/business growth around Christmas time.
How long will it take to get finance?
Typically, business loans can take a number of weeks or months to get approved. With Christmas just around the corner, you probably don’t have that sort of time! And though bank finance is cheaper, it takes the longest to get approved.
If you need funding within a certain timeframe, let one of our friendly experts know and they’ll be happy to accommodate this. By leveraging relationships we’ve built with over 80 lenders, we’re often able to get applications approved in as little as a day, even in unique circumstances (such as having account issues or a low credit score).
Best retail and hospitality loans for Christmas
There are different types of finance available for each unique business need in the lead up to Christmas. Some popular cash flow solutions for those in retail and hospitality include:
- Trade finance: this solution bridges the gap between incoming and outgoing payments within your business. It’s useful for keeping on top of things like stock, wages, rent and supply costs.
- Small business loans: this is a versatile option that can be used for a range of business purposes. It’s a fairly standard type of finance, offering a lump sum that you pay back over time with interest (usually in monthly instalments). Business loans can be either secured or unsecured.
- Revolving facilities: these include products like overdrafts, lines of credit or trade finance facilities. A revolving facility is a flexible solution that allows you to withdraw funds if and when you need them, and repay your lender at a more convenient time. As a result, it can provide you with a greater sense of control over your finances and peace of mind.
Other tips to manage cash flow during the holiday season
Get your invoices out asap
If you invoice your clients early (aka now, if you haven't already) they’ll be more likely to pay you early. Everyone is busy at this time of year, so a little organisation goes a long way. Give your clients ample time to pay you, and you’ll be setting them up for success...which also works in your favour.
Offer a discount for early payments
We all love a little bonus around Christmas time, and giving your clients incentives to pay on time is another simple way to get paid early. You could offer them a percentage off their total bill for paying by a certain date.
Incentivise your team
Incentivising internal teams is another way to boost your cash flow in the lead up to the silly season. Offering bonuses if team members hit a certain target around Christmas time is a good way to boost productivity before the company winds down for holiday festivities.
Get creative with Christmas marketing
Christmas comes and goes super quickly, so prepare marketing campaigns, content and communications well in advance. Schedule social posts, emails and content for November and December, highlighting specific dates that are most relevant to your audience.
Plan and prioritise
If you’ve reviewed last year’s Christmas trade to plan for this year, managed leave requests, set incentives and put cash aside for taxes and ‘surprise’ expenses...but still feel worried about your cash flow, you could take out finance for that extra breathing room. Chat with a lending expert free or charge to get a feel for your options, as lenders usually offer incentives like lower rates and fees, delayed repayments and attractive terms to businesses around Christmas time.
Happy Christmas planning!
Henry is a Senior Product Specialist specialising in working capital solutions. He loves helping entrepreneurs achieve their growth goals and getting to know their businesses in-depth, in order to find the most fitting product for their needs.