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Top tips for small business owners for Christmas

We are fast approaching the festive season. The temptation to wind down is overwhelming, just a few more days to go. But there are a few things you need to consider before you shut off that laptop for the Christmas season to ensure you are starting the new year positively.  

It’s expensive 

Christmas is an expensive time of year. You can’t avoid the food, the presents, the tipples and everything else that goes along with tinsel. But you also have business expenses to consider.  

We know that 2020 has been a very different year. There won’t be any Christmas parties but here’s a bonus:  

If you host a virtual Christmas party, HMRC has now confirmed, in response to stakeholder lobbying, that where all normal conditions are met, virtual events can be included when considering the £150 exemption. 

Which means that you can still get your team together for a festive evening of fun and although you are unlikely to incur the same in charges, you can claim back for some of the expenses that you do incur.  

Plan for additional expenses and charges 

Consider payment dates for your staff. Does that need to change? Does payroll fall on a holiday this month or are you planning on paying your staff early so they have extra funds for Christmas? 

This may take planning as you will need to update your systems or inform your payroll team of the change.  

Have you made it clear to your staff what they are entitled to over Christmas? Will you be subject to charges? Do your research and don’t get hit with any unwanted bills.  

Cashflow check 

It’s always important to keep on top of cashflow but more so at this time of year. It’s tempting to spread a little Christmas cheer, take part in gifts for your team or clients, even decorating the office (although we imagine it’s a little quieter this year) but be careful.  

Don’t overspend. Keep an eye on your cashflow and only spend what is available. Set aside funds for other bills.  

Prioritise bills over luxury items and pay anything outstanding before you leave the office. That way, you will come back in the new year refreshed and with a healthy bank balance.  

Take time out to plan for the new year 

Now is the ideal time to start planning for 2021. It’s safe to say that this year has brought us many challenges but at least we are more prepared going into the next one.  

Consider where you want your business to go, what are the financial implications of that, what is your cashflow situation at the start of the year?  

Above all, take this time to relax and refresh. It’s been a tough year and you’ve earned the break. Spend time with your loved ones (but stay safe) and enjoy the down time.  

Don’t forget to send your customers, clients and team a Merry Christmas message and sign off.  

Have a fantastic Christmas and a very Happy New Year from all at team ASBK!  

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