The economy is doing well despite the recent dips in the markets which is good news as we approach the final quarter of the year, proven to be one of the most profitable times for small businesses. A new study of about 300 US small businesses found that one-third of them admitted that Q4 was their most profitable time of the year. These findings do vary by industry with the numbers being 74% of online retailers and 71% of brick-and-mortar retailers reporting similar findings.
That data also revealed that the soaring of prices occurred despite 42% of small businesses stating that their costs increased by as much as 25%. With the rise of Q4 expenses, here are some ways small businesses can continue to manage their cash flow.
One way to reduce risk volatility is by finding new streams of income which will diversify the business during this peak season. Here’s an example: retailers could offer easy and affordable gift-wrapping options or personal gift messages for additional charges. Restaurants could look to provide valet service which would enhance the diner’s experience. This is very important for seasonal businesses who hope to assist their cash-flow during the off-season. For example, a construction company would look to introduce the service of adding insulation homes during the winter due to the building season slowing down. Another example would be a lawn care service which offers snow removal and plowing in colder regions.
Q4 might be a booming time for some companies, but they still may need to budget for potential revenue slumps in the coming months due to profit allocation from the holiday season. By predicting these kinds of slumps, you can reserve portions of your higher profits from Q4 to ensure that your cash flow is always positive. Make sure to keep an eye out for any surprises and maintain an adequate “cushion.”
One of a business’s most valuable asset is a good employee. If you want to retain these employees who are critical to the growth on your business without overextending head-count costs, you may want to consider freelancers or temporary workers who can provide the many services and flexibility needed without the requirement of spending as much as you would for additional full-time employees. One example would be hiring a virtual assistant who would be just as effective at monitoring email and phone messages as a full-time assistant, while less expensive.
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David S. Chang is an entrepreneur, wealth manager, keynote speaker, consultant and Chairman/CEO of Chang Holding Company. David is also the editor of The Art of Thinking Smart, a blog and finance column in The Star-Advertiser’s weekly Midweek with a readership of over 400,000 people. He is also proud to serve as an Intelligence Officer in the Hawaii Army National Guard.
A longtime expert in finance, David uses his executive roles in various companies under Chang Holding Company in order to help people achieve their personal financial and business goals throughout all phases of their lives:
A wealth management firm (which has become ranked as one of the top in the nation and featured in Forbes)
WealthBridge Private Equity
A private equity and venture capital fund
Care for Life
A private-duty home and senior care company
Other companies under Chang Holding include GreenTech Pacific LLC and Pacific West Import/Export Hawaii.
David S. Chang is the founder of The Art of Thinking SMART, The Art of SMART Money, and The Art of SMART Stocks. He created the Simple 4-Step System to Wealth and Financial Freedom. Supported by over a decade of research and driven by David’s desire to help others excel in all areas of their lives, this step-by-step online training program enables people to take control of their wealth immediately.
Everyone should have a financial plan, regardless of age, income or net worth.
David has always loved to learn and seek out opportunities to achieve the American Dream– so it comes as no surprise that he has taken numerous continuing education courses in finance, investments, and insurance. He also completed the Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) program at The American College.
In 2015 David was chosen as a member of InvestmentNews’ 2015 40 Under 40 list of top young advisers and associated professionals in the financial planning industry. He has been featured in Forbes as one of America’s Select Financial Leaders. In 2013, David S. Chang was selected as 40 Under 40 Military by CivilianJobs.com, 2011 Pacific Edge Young Professional of the Year, 2010 Business Leader of the Year from the Pacific Business News Forty Under 40 and 2011 finalist for The Business Leadership American Savings Bank Business Leader of the Year.
In addition, WealthBridge Inc. was selected as a FIVE-STAR Wealth Manager for the State of Hawaii in 2014 through 2011, representing the top 2% of Wealth Managers statewide. In 2014 through 2012 WealthBridge Inc. was also selected by The National Association of Board Certified Advisory Practices (NABCAP) as a Premier Adviser.