Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Information and commentary for the small business banking industry

Help your small business customers make the most of seasonal profits

27 Jan

Welcome back to TSBC, we hope you had a fabulous Christmas and an even better New Year! 2016 was certainly an interesting one, not just for small businesses but for banks and business in general, what with Brexit and the U.S. election. We look ahead with interest to see what impact these two events will have on business in 2017, as will your small business customers.

For many of them, especially those in retail, they’ll be tallying up their profits from the Christmas rush. Seasonal businesses are determined by a number of other triggers too, such as summer and winter, Mother and Fathers Day, school holidays and the end of the financial year. What they should all be aiming to do is learn how to maximize their profits during the busy times, so that it’ll see them through the lean patches.

Help small business customers manage the busy and quiet times

One of the best ways a bank can help seasonal businesses is to sit down with them and plan their budget. Cash flow forecasts are essential here – and if your bank has tutorials in how to conduct them, so much the better. Once the forecast is completed, a budget can be put in place to distribute the funds during the profitable months so that the business can survive during the lean ones. Sound financial advice and help with budget planning are the most valuable ways that a bank can assist a customer with a seasonal business.

Making the most of seasonal profits means knowing how to handle the quiet times, so that not only are profits being maximized, but business owners also learn that just because sales are low doesn’t mean there aren’t advantages. Quiet times mean opportunities to plan, so that when things get busy again, they can hit the ground running:

  • Get staff organised – a couple of months out, business owners should be advertising for the staff they’ll need during the season. They need time to advertise, interview and train their new employees.
  • Take stock and get the inventory up to scratch – there’s no point hitting the season without adequate levels of stock. So business owners need to make sure that they’ve got plenty with which to kick off the season, and that they’ve checked with their suppliers and made sure more is available when they need it.
  • A facelift – freshen up the visible parts of the business. Some new signage or a lick of paint inside and out can make a big difference.

Since seasonal businesses are somewhat of a cash flow roller coaster, helping business owners to manage that cash flow is essential. From sitting down with them and planning, to blogging or producing articles on cash flow management, be the bank that supports seasonal businesses through good times and bad.

Here at TSBC, we can offer you great content around how to manage the ups and downs of seasonal businesses. Contact us on sales@tsbc.com to find out how we can help you.


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Glen Senior
Glen is the founder and CEO of The Small Business Company, a New Zealand based agency that specialises in helping banks communicate with small businesses through content marketing. He has written a number of books on small business principles and is a sought after consultant and conference presenter.

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