The final push for Q4 comes with a number of turning points for the year. Firstly, how do gauge success? Secondly, where is the focus for the end of the year and into the next year? And Thirdly, should you consider additional funding such as merchant cash advances, business loans or investment from a third party source?
Success means different things to different businesses. A new business, with a focus on establishing itself and trading positively within year one, might look at income increases month on month, compared to projections. A business focusing efforts towards longer-term growth is more likely to look at customer base increases, staffing levels and overall net turnover. Either way, compare what has been achieved against a given market, including your own projections in this and see where the business currently stands. Things to always account for are:
- Budget use
- Potential Tax costs
- Overall Profit and Loss
- Overall business activity
The latter is of particular note if you’ve previously had a merchant cash advance investment or loan in the previous quarters. Break all elements down into quarter income/outgoings – with additional elements for business costs, loan repayments, staffing, premises and stock costs. Also, include expected income in lieu of fulling accounting at the end of the year. Approaching an evaluation in a business like this will ultimately provide insight to current performance, but also strike up goals within the aspirational business person and lead to questions such as – how do I grow my business further?
Planning for Q4
Immediate planning for Q4 comes in the form of looking at where immediate business changes will have a positive impact. For example, could reduce costs on food within a hotel without a loss of quality improve the return on investment for the hotel restaurant? It makes sense to evaluate outgoings regularly, but also to evaluate where income can be improved. Are all prices correct? Could an additional £5 per room make a huge difference to a business? Beyond this, Q4 also includes the opportunity for Christmas and a general uprising in (most) sectors. In particular, the hospitality sector will see an increase in Christmas parties/meals taking place. Consider how a business, and its sector, fits into the festive season and ensure plans are in place to increase revenues over this period. Basing all projections on the previous 12 months of figures will be an essential part of the success here.
It might be the case that Q4 brings with it the opportunity to expand, or the opportunity to at least consider expansion. Consider all options, bank lending is one way to achieve your goals – but comes with greater risk than other alternatives. Cash advances are a strong alternative, the risk is reduced by fluctuating payments based on income and no APR is added to the loan, just a set fee. Expanding a business is not easy, but with a Q1, 2 and 3 showing success and a Q4 a time to increase the success and put together a very strong business plan and apply for funding, 2017 could be a very fruitful year.