Unless you’ve been living in a cave in the Himalayas, you have already had to adapt in countless ways due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Changes such as quarantines and restrictions have impacted not only business but our entire way of life. How can your business adapt and even thrive in this unprecedented holiday season?
It has been established that behaviour and choices can affect the pandemic’s economic impact just as much as a pharmaceutical solution. So let’s take a look at what you can do to make the most of this very unique holiday season.
While you likely started planning for the holiday season at the end of summer, continuing to plan right up to the holidays will maximise this profitable season. Much of successful planning has to do with managing the increased demand that comes with the holidays, along with adapting to the new ways people are behaving due to the pandemic—all to make the most of the new normal.
1. Make sure the increased demand will be satisfied
For many industries, the holidays are far and away the busiest time of the year—and that invariably means an increase in demand. While ensuring that safety protocols are kept, successful companies take steps such as increasing production, filling warehouse stocks, planning additional labour flows, expanding their supplier range, preparing additional trade channels, and negotiating delivery terms with carriers to physically satisfy the rise in demand during the holidays.
2. Improve your online presence and processes
During this unprecedented year and especially during this very unique holiday season, it’s not just about satisfying volume—it’s also about expanding it even further. Therefore, look at how to improve your ever-increasing online traffic. Things like improving email sequences and website messaging to increase sales can further take advantage of the fact that business is shifting more online during this unique year.
3. Develop and adapt to the new normal
After the first quarantine, many realised that they needed to create remote purchase options or repurpose existing systems for a touchless, sterile business process. So reexamine how you can provide a safe customer experience, and make sure that it’s well advertised so that people learn about it quickly. Doing so encourages customers to choose you instead of the competition, providing them the security of knowing that you’re the safer option.
4. Plan finances responsibly
Unforeseen expenses in the company budget need to be planned. This is because there are almost always unexpected expenses that pop up anytime there’s an increase in demand. Things like non-standard delivery methods, network congestion problems, additional staff, along with other restrictions or requirements due to operating during a pandemic. To know how much excess funds will be needed, measure historical fixed and variable costs to gather a historical baseline and compare that with an average of 5-10% of cost structures.
5. Don’t allow needed cash flows to be locked up in unpaid invoices
Frustratingly, the capital needed to cover expansion costs can be locked up and inaccessible due to customers that haven’t paid their invoices. This can make a difficult situation worse by leading to a further increase in debt to suppliers and creditors. Invoice financing, or factoring, is a solution that continues to grow in popularity among SMBs that don’t want to wait months to receive needed cashflow to grow during the holiday season.
6. Know your financing options
Financial institutions are there to help your business choose the best forms of financing. But before you consult them, make sure you have your company’s facts and finances ready; having things at the ready such as your financial statements, processes, and other specifics will give you the greatest access to financing options. However, if these institutions aren’t able to provide help, don’t assume you’re out of options. Alternative financing is growing in popularity for a reason: their flexibility and availability are often the solution that keep many small businesses growing.
Like it or not, 2020 has proved to be a year of significant change. And as with any change, you can either fight it and suffer the consequences, or you can adapt and make the most of the new normal to remain profitable and even thrive. Factris is dedicated to helping SMBs grow by offering flexible financing solutions, along with personalised advice and a hassle-free way to receive working capital. Find out today how we can help you make the most of the holiday season.
Find out more about Factris here.