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Taking a break from your small business


Whether you’re heading into a holiday period, or just planning to take a break, it’s important to keep your cash-flow under control. This means plenty of planning and being proactive.

When you’re not in the office, there are still overheads and salaries that need to be sorted. If taking time off means that less cash will be coming in, it’s essential to plan for this period to make sure that these costs can be comfortably covered. Make sure you have a clear picture of your payroll, and any other planned expenses that will need to be accounted for.

If there’s even a possibility that there could be a shortfall, it’s essential to meet this head-on. Whether this means talking to your supplier or creditors to figure out an arrangement, or compromising on other business outgoings, you must make a plan to ensure that the business, or your staff, won’t suffer.

Tips to minimise the stress of cash-flow over the holiday period

Invoice early – Send any invoices that you can, and in advance if possible. Perhaps consider whether you have any regular clients or customers that you could offer a retainer or similar deal to if they book services or make a purchase from you in advance.

Chase payment – use this opportunity to chase up any outstanding payments. Strong communication and relationships matter – talk to clients and chase invoices. Get your team involved in this process too if they’re not already actively doing so.

Talk to suppliers – a little honesty can go a long way. Perhaps they can extend a line of credit for your payments to them. In most cases, a good supplier would rather offer a little flexibility to keep an ongoing business relationship. And, again, make sure you delegate some payments to your team with clear instructions on when to pay and what to check before doing so.

Review your costs – it’s also a good idea to do a general review of expenses. Business costs can creep up, and it’s a great idea to make a time to check on your expenses regularly, no matter what your financial situation. Review all of your regular payments and subscriptions as well as upcoming costs. There may be travel, functions or purchases which you can decide on an alternative approach to.

Talk to the bank – if cash-flow is tight, make sure you have conversations early so you have everything in place to see you through. Your bank will be more willing to help if you talk to them well in advance and if you can show it’s a short-term need only.

Taking for a break is a vital part of achieving a life-work balance. Planning your break properly will make sure the break gives you the down-time you need and deserve without worrying about fire-fighting in the aftermath!

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