Business overheads can be the death of any company – they’re often the unexpected little costs that add up and up, and can end up costing more money than you can make. That’s why it’s so important for business owners to focus on managing their overheads, and ensure that they never get out of control. Here are six tips you’ll need to help navigate the Christmas season.
1. Don’t go mad on the treats
As they get into the festive spirit, it’s common for small business owners to want to rewards their staff and customers with little treats here and there. Whether it’s bringing cakes into the office, handing out free Christmas crackers with every purchase, or just going overboard on gifts for staff, it’s easy for these costs to mount up. Instead, try focusing on small gestures that mean more but cost less – like recognising the people who have done the most for the company all year and presenting them with certificates that you can print off yourself.
2. Close the office
When it gets closer to Christmas, especially on the days directly around the festive dates, it’s often hard for staff to focus. They might even feel like they’re not in work mode at all, and instead celebrate with their colleagues and gossip about presents and Christmas dinners. Save your heating bills and your electricity by shutting the office for a few days. You can make these dates mandatory holiday, so that you don’t have to worry about it annually from now on.
3. Be heat smart
How much does it cost to heat your building? Be smart about it, and make sure that no heat is escaping through open doors and windows. If customers have a habit of leaving the shop door open, make sure your staff are instructed to close it as quickly as possible! Consider using space heaters instead of old, inefficient heating systems that came with your building. This could save you a lot over the whole of the winter.
4. Sell old stock
If you pay for warehousing to store goods, now is the time to really get rid of some old stock. Hold a massive sale just before Christmas to get ahead of other retailers, whose sales will normally begin on the day after Christmas. Use this chance to get rid of as much stock as possible, and you might be able to reduce the size of your storage – saving you money month on month for the future. If your storage isn’t flexible, you can save there too by switching!
5. Analyse sales figures
When are your traditionally busiest days? When are your traditionally slowest? Use sales figures from previous years to analyse when you should have all hands on deck, and when you should send some of your staff home. This is especially helpful in a retail store with a rota, so that you can operate the shop with a skeleton crew during slow days.
6. Look for deals
Around Christmas, many companies will put on big sales. This might include the software company you subscribe to, the factory that makes your staff uniforms on wholesale, the supply chain businesses where you source your stock, and so on. This time of year is a great time to look at your current overheads and see if someone or something else can serve you for cheaper.
Make sure you always think carefully about your overheads around Christmas. It’s so important to save on costs where possible, so you can continue to trade into the new year and beyond.