- Anthony Johns of the award-winning Johns of Instow explains how the post-Christmas period can offer business-building opportunities
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We all love January… not!!!
I did always find January the hardest month in the year. We all look so forward to the hustle and bustle of Christmas, how gorgeous our shops look and the trade it brings in. January looms after the final push of New Year.
Although a difficult time for trading, you can plan all those necessary jobs in January. Plan them well in advance of the end of the year before so you have thoroughly evaluated what you need to do and have also sought the best deals from suppliers.
Maintenance of the premises and updating equipment are always top of my list. I will have budgeted for this already in the year’s prior trading. Its really important you have planned this into your cash flow and you have the necessary funds put aside to undertake the work, as when turnover is at its lowest it can be the hardest time for trade.
Tradesmen find themselves booked up, so if you need repairs or new equipment make sure you have already planned and booked them in towards the end of the previous year. It’s an idea time for upgrading equipment, and general maintenance without effecting your turnover too much.
January is also an ideal time to finalise the budget for the following year. You will have a good idea as to how you are performing and will also have knowledge of all the legislative changes by then such as the living wage and tax liabilities. A budget and cash flow is the key to success of any business, no matter its size. A minimum of three years in advance is always required.
Staff training. There are always new ideas you have or you wish your team could know. A knowledgeable and skilled workforce is essential so find time to visit suppliers and carry out in-house training ready for the busy times ahead.
Meet with suppliers yourself to understand new products and negotiate deals.
Ultimately, think of January as your time to “invest” in the future of your business.
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