The holiday season is always the busiest time for retailers. Shoppers are buying everything from gifts for family and friends to decorations, home wares and supplies for Christmas and New Year’s festivities. While this is a fruitful time for Australian retailers, it can also be a costly one.
Upfront costs, such as having enough inventory to meet demand, hiring casual staff, or paying off a loan with a high interest rate can eat into your cashflow, making it difficult to meet day-to-day commitments.
Here are three ways a small business loan can help keep your spirits bright this holiday season.
Having plenty of inventory on hand
Now is the time to start thinking about how much stock you will need during the season and get your orders in. Buying early and in bulk is a smart way to negotiate better prices with suppliers. Look at your sales figures from last year to get an idea of how much stock you will need to purchase this year and a rough idea of what the initial costs will be.
Many shoppers wait until the last minute to start their holiday shopping, with an estimated one in 10 Australians waiting until Christmas Eve last year to get their shopping sorted. This year, Christmas Eve falls on a Sunday, so it’s possible that last-minute shoppers will follow a similar trend, so running out of stock early in the season could mean lost sales later.
Hiring extra staff
More staff, holiday penalty rates and wages to cover extended hours can quickly add up. Even though your sales should be more than enough (and then some!) to cover these costs, you will still need to consider recruitment and training, which will happen long before the tills start ringing.
The service a customer receives when they walk into your store can make or break a sale. Enough staff to answer questions, restock shelves and get customers through the checkout line quickly all contribute to creating a positive customer experience; which will help ensure customers keep coming back. Hiring seasonal staff can fill any gaps in your customer service, and contribute to making holiday shopping less stressful for everyone.
Refinancing an existing loan
Maybe you’ve already taken out a loan to purchase stock, hire staff or improve your online sales capabilities for the months ahead and you’re looking for a more cost effective solution to pay it off. Or maybe you have a lingering loan at a high-interest rate that’s got too much of your cash flow locked away in a large weekly payment? Refinancing your existing loan with Bigstone can save you interest and help you grow your business.
With the imminent arrival of Amazon in Australia, focusing on improving end-to-end customer service should be a big focus for retailers, particularly in the lead up to Christmas. There are a number of ways you can access the funds you need quickly to get your business ready.