Five ways the business Grinch could strike this year

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feature-grinch-thumbDepending on your business, Christmas is a time of peak sales or it’s a quieter period, allowing you time to reflect on how 2012 has treated you.

 

For most businesses, however, there are common Christmas traps. Whether they are caused by your own poor planning or external forces beyond your control, your festive period can turn Grinch-like rather quickly.

 

With this in mind, we’ve outlined five of the most common disasters you need to watch out for over the next few weeks.

 

 

1. The fiscal cliff

 

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No, not the US fiscal cliff – we’re talking about the monetary crunch that bedevils many small businesses every year as soon as the tinsel comes out.

 

As Greg Hayes, director of business consultancy Hayes Knight, explains: “Costs tend to go up over this time of the year: more staff, leave costs, downtime from non-trading days, as well as increased promotion costs, all mean that costs will push upwards.”

 

“Keep an eye on them. It’s great to get into the Christmas spirit as long as you don’t end up with a New Year hangover.”

 

“The new year will lead you into a quieter trading period and a tighter cashflow period. The March quarter tends to be the toughest cashflow quarter of the year.”

 

“You will need a cash buffer going into the new year. Don’t overcommit yourself in the run up to year end and end up in trouble.”

 

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