Christmas is a big time of year. Not only do entrepreneurs have to deal with business expectations but they also have to deal with family, friends and budgets.
It’s vital to not forget about what’s important and to not take the silly season too seriously. But, at the same point it is also very important to plan for the next year and make sure everything is in order.
How do leaders get a head of the Christmas rush, make sure they have enough savings and plan for next year?
Aussie start-up founders open up on what they do to lift their savings ahead of the Christmas rush, budget and plan for the year ahead.
Name: Yanir Yakutiel
When it comes to Christmas each year, small business owners are often the most at risk of making impulsive purchases and panic buys and forking out on supplies or expensive goods rather than shopping around for a better deal.
Having a discerning eye towards your expenses can help out in the long run. There are many reasons you might need some extra funding – to buy essential equipment or just to cover day-to-day fluctuations in your cash flow. Seeking finance is a common step for many business owners, and with the right strategy and timely support it can be less difficult to secure than you might think. At Lumi, we think it’s important to be able to give small business owners the leg up they need with hassle-free straight-forward loans to help navigate the Christmas spending rush and give your business the financial boost it needs.
A key way to be ahead of the game is by conducting a regular review of your financial performance in the lead up to Christmas. Financial projections are not only an important part of the planning process but keeping a tab on how the business is going is also critical to ensuring you’re staying on top of the ongoing financial needs of your business. Christmas is also a good time to do a ‘health-check’ on all your finances and accrued expenses for your business, and there’s no better way of doing this than itemising your receipts and keeping a tab on your cash flow. It’s also a great way to know how financially sound your business is or whether you might need to apply for a loan to help it get through a period of high volume and activity.
Title: CEO ANZ
You can go broke trying to save. There’s so much pressure during the festive season to buy, buy buy, and business owners are under huge pressure to maximise opportunities. Ultimately, organisation is key. If you don’t have a plan, you’ll end up overspending. My fiance is a great example of how organisation helps budgeting. She starts shopping during the June-July mid year sales and we usually finalise purchasing all gifts by early November. This means we can enjoy purchasing gifts and spread the financial burden throughout the year. The same principles apply in business. Instead of going ‘all in’ on the one supplier or paying all your superannuation at the one time it pays to spread your risk.
Name: Adrian Przelozny
Company: Independent Reserve
We think it’s important for all Australians to be mindful of their spending habits, particularly as we near Christmas. A key way for everyday Aussies to remain shrewd with their savings ahead of Christmas is by making co-contributions into their super. Those who earn less than $50,454 per annum and make a personal contribution into super may be eligible for the Government’s co-contribution scheme. By making personal after-tax contributions to your super fund, you can boost your retirement savings by receiving up to $500 extra from the Government into your super each year. This is a great strategy for low income earners and eligible Australians looking to be proactive about their budgeting and top up their super ahead of the Christmas spending spree.
Name: Mick Spencer
Title: CEO and founder
Comments: As our currency has been a little volatile and banks have been a little stricter with lending – it is therefore really critical for business owners to save money where possible. Leading up to the end of the year, it is common for companies to be a little more generous with discretionary staff expenses, or social expenses for Christmas parties and end of year gatherings, or overpaying salaries and bonuses. Perhaps a better avenue is to look into share options as opposed to cash bonuses and negotiate payment terms with existing suppliers to help extend your cash flow. Also, this is a great time to revisit costs that don’t work well for your business. This might be marketing costs such as customer acquisition spends, sponsorships, and activations. Whatever you spend your money on – make sure you are receiving a return on investment from it.
Name: Andrew Maloney
Company: Student Super
Title: CEO and founder
We use the Christmas break to review our Google Ads account. If left unchecked, you can end up wasting thousands of dollars on ineffective ad copy and placements.
Three tips for managing your Google Ads effectively:
Apply for a points-earning credit card and use that for your Google Ads spend. You may as well earn while you burn!
Check for overly broad keywords that have a low quality score and cull them. These can chew up significant chunks of your budget before you know it.
Use the break to refresh your Google Ad copy. Try a completely new approach and run A/B tests to see if it is effective. Coming into the new year, it’s important to consider how your brand and company can remain relevant.
Remember, paying for exposure doesn’t mean you’re necessarily getting it. It’s important to be hands on with any marketing, advertising and public relations initiatives, especially when you first start out. If you’re not getting bang for your buck, it’s time to change your approach.
Name: Gareth Gumbley
Comments: The new year is a great time to shop around for a lower rate on your business insurance, negotiate better deals with suppliers, review your competitors’ market presence, and reposition your offering to ensure it remains relevant.
Although, two of my main tips would be:
Take the time to review the tax incentives and government rebates that your business might be eligible for. While reading the paper on the beach, I came across the jobs for NSW grant available for early stage businesses. This was providing up to $2,000 per role created. We have eight staff now and, as all startup founders will know, that’s a sizeable injection in the early days!
Try managing your business’ expenses with a bucket budget. This simple view allows you to consider the major wants and needs that you have for your company. For example, Frollo has a ‘living budget’ that covers what we need to keep the lights on and our clients happy, and a ‘lifestyle budget’ that’s focused on the funds required to keep the team happy. We try to look for savings in both buckets. This more broad based budgeting works for us on a professional and personal level as it allows us to focus on the big picture, without sweating the small stuff. Bizarrely, we’ve found this big budgeting approach delivers both a better business and financial outcome.