Several of my clients bring in very little by way of sales between Christmas and New Year, making December and January tight from a cash flow perspective. While other clients make a high proportion of their sales over the festive season, and summer is their quiet period. If you run a seasonal business, there are a number of strategies you can deploy to maintain a positive cash flow.
If you read my article last week, Business Lessons From It’s A Wonderful Life, you’ll know there’s one thing that all businesses will benefit from — maintaining a cash flow forecast. A cash flow forecast will help you keep track of the inflow and outflow of cash so you can predict with confidence how much money you’ll have on week-by-week for the next few months.
This is always a busy time of year for me. As well as completing my own annual business review and preparing my financial forecasts for 2018, I’ve been helping my clients with their 2018 financial forecasts so that they can continue to grow their businesses.
Financial forecasting is a vital part of business planning. A financial forecast is simply a financial plan or budget for your business. It is an estimate of two essential future financial outcomes for a business – your projected income and your expenses.
Every December, I like to find a big cinema screening of It’s a Wonderful Life. A Christmas classic, not only is the film a story about appreciating what you have and never giving up. It also offers a lesson in the importance of cold, hard cash, and the importance of keeping a cash flow forecast.
Played by Jimmy Stewart, one of my favourite actors, George Bailey, the owner of the Bailey Building & Loan is devastated to learn his Uncle Billy has lost an $8,000 cash deposit on his way to the bank. This was the entire cash position of the bank. And because of one careless moment, the Building & Loan is about to not only close its doors, but bankrupt almost everybody in town.
Last weekend I spent the day in Chichester, ostensibly to start my Christmas shopping; but truth be told looking for cosy but indulgent lounge wear. I spent a happy half an hour checking out one of my favourite brands, Mint Velvet, whose winter marketing campaign I love.
As I rifled through the cashmere jumpers and lace backed camis, this got me wondering why I was prepared to pay premium prices for items I could easily get in other shops for less. The answer was brand. Mint Velvet has created a brand that speaks to me and my aspirations. Here’s why.
“Imagine being in charge of the John Lewis Christmas advert? The whole nation’s Christmas spirit rests on your shoulders,” wrote one Twitter user earlier this month. This comment sums up how the launch of the John Lewis Christmas advert has become an eagerly anticipated event in the British calendar, and is widely regarded as a masterclass in Christmas brand positioning.
This year’s annual campaign didn’t disappoint as evidenced by the overwhelmingly positive social media reaction to the touching story of Joe and Moz. The owner of his very own trending hashtag , #MoztheMonster is the star of this year’s campaign, along with the obligatory cute child and the now-traditional classic song covered by a modern artist, this year featuring Elbow’s rendition of The Beatles’ Golden Slumbers.