For some businesses this is the busiest time of year; restaurants, bars and retailers for example. For others it is the quietest; manufacturers may have shutdowns and the weather can put the brakes on construction projects.
But whatever sector you are in and whether your business is booming or going through a quiet period, it is highly likely that now is a time for reflection. Many business owners find that Christmas and New Year is a natural time to take stock and compare their current position with the one they were in 12 months previously.
Start by looking at your cash flow. Is your bank balance struggling compared with last year; are you taking longer to pay people; are you chasing customers for payment so that you can pay your own suppliers?
Any business owner who feels their company is in a worse position than last year needs to think about why this is. Have they let standards slip or relaxed their grip on procedures? If sales have fallen have you ramped-up marketing or cut back overheads? If there has been a deterioration in the stability of the company it is extremely important to address that.
The solution is not always to borrow money for a ‘quick fix’. If the underlying problem has not been addressed it is unlikely that throwing more money at the business will make a lasting impact. I’m always amazed at how many businesses borrow money because they automatically think that doing so is the answer to their problems.
Looking BACK at how you have been operating can be the best way of moving FORWARD. Are you optimistic about the future? If you have big plans and ideas to help your business to grow in 2016 make sure you have ironed out any existing problems first and have the money to enable you to see things through.