Quick Cash in Time for Christmas

We’ve all seen this claim before, sometimes on a handwritten sign Sellotaped to the back window of a badly-parked hatchback, but this is no con. As a professional Business Coach, I have some tried and tested methods to share with you which will help you put cash on your bottom line before Christmas comes around.

Whilst December can be one of the most expensive times of the year for a family, it can be one of the most profitable for a business. In tight economic times, Brits may be holidaying at home or not at all in an effort to save their cash, but nobody is keen to cancel Christmas any time soon. Is your business in a position to capitalise on this?

We are now over halfway through the financial year. Have you achieved the growth you wanted? Are you on target for the profits you projected back in the spring?

Whether the answer to these questions is a resounding yes or disheartened no, there is still potential for you to bring in some quick cash. With a little action on your part, extra custom can be found in places which you might consider surprisingly easy. The process begins, as most successful endeavours do, with you asking yourself the right questions.

A pro-active attitude is also essential as, in order to succeed, you will have to conduct a little research. If you’re not already intricately familiar with your client base, it’s time to become so. Engaging with who your best clients are, and what they buy from you, is a pivotal part of the process of attracting fast cash. Whether you provide products or a service, there are new things you could try to encourage your customers to spend more money with you. Identifying what they already love about your company is the first step towards this.

Your existing customers already shop with you. The chances are they visit your website and glance over the emails, flyers or magazines which you send to them. You have worked hard to gain their custom and you already have their trust and their attention. Remember this. When trying to increase their profitability, companies often make the mistake of spending large sums on advertising campaigns, trying to attract new business. This is counter-productive to the purpose of fast cash.

Note that your focus should not be just on existing clients in general, but on your best existing clients.

The research is important here. Who buys from you the most? Which of your products or services do they seem to rate? Once you have identified these, develop some ideas for how you might encourage them to buy more from you. If, for example, you run a beauty salon, could you offer a pampering package which involves both hair and nails? Examine your margins, too. Which products make the largest profits? How can you make these your best-sellers?

What if I only have one product or service to offer?

This is a common concern, particularly for smaller businesses. If you have a company with a rather narrow focus, you may worry that the cash avenue of tempting your clients with add-on or bundle sales offers is not available to you, but it is. Whilst you must be pro-active, it’s not essential that you have an enormous range to offer. Could you approach somebody who is not a competitor, but who offers a complementary service or product? If they are amenable to a mutual recommendation program, you can both quickly benefit from the other’s clients. By remaining upbeat and imaginative in this way, you can generate ideas to encourage customers to spend more of their money with your company.

Convenience is the Key

Everybody is busy, particularly so when Christmas shopping is added into the mix. People are constantly looking to maximise their time when shopping, ideally minimising the time spent shopping! If you purchase a pair of Ugg boots for your niece for Christmas, you’re likely to buy the protective spray that the assistant offers at the same time, simply so that the job can be crossed off your to-do list. Even though you know the same spray may be cheaper elsewhere or online, you are happy to pay more for the convenience of having the task completed. If you run an events company, can you generate some irresistible package deals for your clients to make sure they use you exclusively for their Christmas and New Year celebrations?

Ask yourself if there is a way that you could exploit the one-stop-shop mentality within your own business. Perhaps you could offer a delivery service or a gift-wrapping service, provided that you could source these at a low cost to your company, of course. Even something as simple as bundling batteries with children’s toys can add value to every sale, whilst helping to make shopping all too easy for your customers.

Products and services can be linked with huge success.

Retail-based companies which specialise in products may struggle to see how they can offer their clients more. By adding related services, they could see an increase in the amount of Christmas custom they receive. Similarly, companies offering services can offer products. Set musicians sell CDs, book retailers offer eBook downloads via their websites.

A simple extrapolation of what you already do could be the key to quick cash. What else could your company provide on top of the excellent services that your clients already receive? If you’re struggling to think of ideas, why not go directly to the source and ask them what more they would like from you as a business?

It's important to think dynamically.

These techniques can bring in the cash quickly, and most importantly, should do so at very little cost to your company. Your biggest inputs into developing this new approach should be a positive attitude and a little creativity. Don’t be afraid to forge relationships with complementary services or to approach clients with your new ideas.

It’s also important to understand, as you develop your strategy for increasing quick cash flow, which routes are worthwhile and which are not immediately profitable. You may feel that you should be focused on long-term solutions and strategies, but these are not nearly as dynamic if fast cash is your aim. The approach to a sprint and a marathon are entirely different, but the change of pace can alter performance in a positive way.

By keeping your eyes on your short-term, cash-boost goal, you may find that you take a bolder approach, generating ideas which end up working for you on a long-term basis, too. And without the energetic short-term thinking, these approaches might never have occurred to you.

This is just a small sample of the potential ideas available to business owners looking to make Christmas a time for serious celebration this year. For a walkthrough on how to employ the complete model, which we have developed and tested with huge success, sign up for a FREE TRIAL of ‘Business Success Strategies’ online.

Kind regards

Laura Ashley-Timms - Chief Operating Officer