Tracy Ewen, managing director for IGF Invoice Finance, reveals how indies can plan for the big day…
Tomorrow is the third annual Small Business Saturday, an event held on the first Saturday in December each year to encourage customers to shop with their local independent retailers, instead of heading out to larger chain stores for their Christmas shopping. The team behind Small Business Saturday hope that by targeting the busiest shopping period of the year, there will be positive repercussions for small and medium-sized businesses well into the New Year.
With clothing a popular choice for many gift-buyers this Christmas, independent fashion retailers must be prepared not only for the day itself, but for the entire festive season to have a successful end of year for 2015. In order for independent womenswear retailers to keep up with high street staples, it is especially important that stock levels are kept buoyant during this busy period.
Following Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it is essential that retailers are fully re-stocked for Small Business Saturday and the run up to Christmas. Smaller clothing retailers often rely on word of mouth to encourage greater footfall into their shops, so it is key that after Small Business Saturday, stock levels remain at a higher level to accommodate repeat-purchasers as well as potential new buyers.
Having access to flexible finance solutions will enable independent retailers to achieve this goal without resorting to unsustainable financing options such as credit cards or bank overdrafts. These options might see a business through in the short term, but will ultimately make cashflow problems worse.
By seeking advice with a financial expert ahead of time, smaller retailers can often find more practical and reliable solutions to short-term borrowing. Many professional finance providers offer free impartial advice, which if used, can save both time and money in the run-up to Christmas, when smaller retailers need help the most.
December can bring highs and lows for independent retailers. With Small Business Saturday encouraging footfall from local communities across the UK, it’s imperative that retailers are prepared. Taking steps to ensure that a healthy, steady cashflow is in place will enable businesses to flourish during the busy festive season.