Survival in the Cold

Away in the Manger, Silent Night, Joy to the World, Hark the Herald Angels Sing. Familiar hymns of Christmas. Retail and online stores thrive at this time of year, yet some businesses dread this time of year because people are spending their money on presents for family, friends, children, donating, but a month to month business owner may really experience the struggle because the funds are being used elsewhere.

Recently, I talked to a business owner and her time off in her business is mid-November through January and my first thoughts were WOW, how can she afford to do that, but then it dawned on me. She can do this because she plans wisely. As business owner, she understands her clientele and what the priorities are for her business to thrive. Her profitable months are most likely in the summertime, whereas doing work in the wintertime is mostly likely non-existent.

A tax preparer or accountant knows their busy season begins in February after W-2’s, 1099’s and other IRS requirements need to be met. So their season to harvest is in February through April and again in October when the extensions are due.

Just like retailers, business owners should learn how to model their businesses to sow and reap in their business season.

How do you overcome the hardship of this time when income is slim and bills are due? Here is a solid plan so you can afford to take a family vacation, plan for a medical leave to heal or enjoy the season instead of stressing when you look at your checkbook and bank accounts.

  • Discover your strongest season for income.Are you a Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter business?

  • Take a portion of your monthly income and set aside at least ten percent or more to allow for an unexpected plan.

  • Set a monthly budget for expenses and do not exceed it.When you have funds left over, put the money aside instead of rolling it into the following month.

  • Have an emergency fund for repairs especially if you have lease that does not include HVAC or plumbing.

  • Talk to your insurance agent and learn what coverage plans can be included in your insurance.For only a few more dollars a year, you could have some peace of mind in the event of an unexpected repair that is outside of your lease.

Your feast should always allow for famine in your business. By learning how to organize and balance your funds in business, you will be able to thrive in your season and not sweat in the coldest months of your year.

#organization #budgeting