Along with Christmas, Easter is one of the most celebrated holidays in the Australian calendar. Given it usually falls during or near school holidays in most states and it includes multiple public holidays, it’s also a time when most businesses shut for at least a few days and have increased numbers of staff on leave. As a result, it can be a difficult time to manage business cashflow.
While it is a religious holiday, Easter is also an official holiday in many western countries. But it’s not a recognised holiday in all countries. It’s also celebrated differently in various countries and the number of days that are official public holidays varies between countries and even between states. Bearing all this in mind, it’s important to understand that Easter doesn’t just affect those who celebrate it and on the days they celebrate it. And if you operate internationally or have international suppliers, you may find you’re affected in unexpected ways.
Because of this, we’ve compiled some tips for how businesses can prepare for the approaching Easter period.
Tips for How to Prepare Your Business Cashflow for Easter
1. Check your inventory
Make sure you’ve got enough stock to see you through at least a week on either side of Easter. You don’t want to run out of an item and find that your supplier is shut when you need to reorder. This is especially important if you have overseas or even interstate suppliers.
2. Settle payments prior to Easter
All Australian banks are closed on the Easter public holidays. So, check all your outstanding bills and pay any that fall due during the Easter period before the first public holiday. If you don’t, you may be charged late fees or subjected to other penalties.
If you find yourself short on working capital when it comes time it settle payments during Easter (which can easily happen if you need to pay an account early due to the public holidays and that coincides with your customers or clients paying their debts to you late because of those same public holidays), then invoice financing might be a great solution. This alternative financing option can enable you to draw down against those outstanding invoices to cover the gap between when you pay your debts and when your customers settle their debts with you.
3. Reserve cash – to Enhance Your Business Cashflow
Another consequence of banks closing over Easter is that you cannot stock up on change. If you’re operating on the weekend, you’ll need your standard amount of change but you won’t be able to stock up on Good Friday so you’ll need to go to the bank on the Thursday.
As with the previous tip, if you find yourself needing large amounts of cash in excess of what your working capital can cover, invoice financing could be just the right solution that enables you to increase your working capital by drawing down against outstanding invoices, helping you better manage your business cashflow. This can be a big help when it comes to smoothing the cash flow bumpy ride that’s often created during the holiday period.
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4. Avoid Easter business trips
If you need to make a business trip around this time of the year, try to schedule it for a week or two before or after Easter. If you don’t, you’ll find yourself paying exorbitant fees for accommodation and transport and your transport options may be limited.
5. Alert customers and clients to your operating hours and constraints during the Easter period
All businesses need to do this but if you ship physical products to customers, you need to be especially mindful of how Easter will affect your standard packaging and shipping timeframes. Customers that place an order on the Thursday before Easter may not be very happy if their order isn’t packed until the following Tuesday or Wednesday — or even later if you’re closed for an extended period of time. Similarly, if items you ship would normally arrive around the Friday, your customers may be quite upset if they instead have to wait until Tuesday or Wednesday to receive their order.