The end of the year is nye! That’s the end of the year, not the end of the world, although after the antics of a certain few in our capital, some might actually believe the world is coming to an end.
Don’t get me started here please. There is that saying — never talk about politics, religion or sex, and you won’t upset anybody.
So I will leave those words to braver souls — and not tell you the one about the three politicians having a threesome while praying the other two are . . . — and get back to the end of year topic.
“The end of the year”. What does that mean to businesses? For some, it evokes warm fuzzy feelings and something to look forward to. To others, it’s a time of dread, stress and pending financial ruin.
They are two opposite ends of the spectrum, and many can comfortably say they sit somewhere in the middle. But why are there some at the not-so-desirable end of the scale?
I could sum it up quite simply in several words, and say “they’re crap business people”. But that would not be fair and, in the main, not true — although it does certainly hit the nail on the head for some.
There can be, and certainly are, a plethora of mitigating circumstances that add up to hard times around the holiday season, some within our control and some not.
There are two biggies that cause the most stress to business owners, and it doesn’t take rocket science to work them out — one is time and the other is money.
Ah yes, wouldn’t we all like more time and money, nothing new there. So why is this always a big issue come year end?
Well, it’s because everyone wants jobs finished before Christmas, and everyone wants their invoices paid before they go on holiday.
And your gang wants time off and you have to dish out holiday pay and there’s no money coming in etc.
Very expensive time for everyone
It’s nothing new and it’s never going to change — that’s just the nature of the end of the year, coupled with a long-awaited holiday season and a very expensive time for everyone.
Back the bus up here and listen to this. “It” can’t change, but “you” can.
Nine out of 10 clients who complain bitterly about their end of year situation all have one common denominator — they never planned for it.
They left it until December 15 to start thinking about it and wonder why by December 24 they are looking for the Stanley knife and rolling up their sleeves above the wrist.
It does not take much planning if you start now — okay, four months or even four weeks ago would have been better, but now’s still not too late.
Make a time schedule and don’t over-promise and under-deliver. If it is physically impossible to finish that job, tell Mrs Bucket now and not when she rocks up with the furniture truck on Christmas Eve.
Work out a cash flow forecast and see what is needed to keep everybody happy, and chase your debtors to keep your bank balance healthy or, if need be, have a chat to your bank.
A tip here when it comes to banks — asking before you need it is 100 times better than asking when the balance is bright red on their screen.
So that’s the end all of having a great end of year — start the process now.
If it’s already in the too hard basket, then ask for help with it, or hide all the nearby sharp objects!