How can I survive a January cash crunch?

How can I survive a January cash crunch?

Dear Aunty B,

I’d wish you a Merry Christmas and all that but I am not feeling all that festive. I’ve just been working on some cashflow projections for January and it looks like we are going to have some serious issues.

I know from previous years how much cashflow drops away early in the New Year and our sales this year just aren’t as strong as in the past. I’m feeling a bit paralysed. Is there anything I can really do?

Not Merry,


Dear Not Merry,

Would it cheer you up to hear that I am actually very proud of you? It’s great to hear that you’ve actually done the hard work on cashflow projections, because there will be plenty of SMEs who haven’t and they really should.

But I can sense your pain and know you want some practical advice, so here’s what to do.

Force yourself to start feeling all Christmassy, buy a lovely card and a bottle of nice sparkling and head down to your bank manager to wish them a Merry Christmas. Talk through your January issue, explain that it is a short-term problem and discuss an overdraft or some sort of funding arrangement.

Tell your bank manager that you’ve taken steps to get cash in the door early by offering discounts for early payment (you’ve done this, haven’t you?) and show him your business plan and budgets for 2014.

The banks don’t want to come back to work in the New Year facing mountains of bad debts any more than you want to shut your doors. You need each other right now!

Be smart,
Your Aunty B

Aunty B is currently on holidays sipping piña coladas, but she will be back soon with fresh advice for your business.

Email your questions, problems and issues to  [email protected] right now!
This article first appeared on December 6, 2011.


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