IT’S about that time to start planning and preparing your holiday schedules for your stores. This year it looks like there will be an uptick in holiday spending which is great news for us all. This also means that with more people shopping and with the increase in our stores opening hours, we will need to start employing seasonal help in addition to calculating how much inventory to have. Employing additional sales help requires time and effort to interview and sort out candidates, in addition to the extra expense it will have on your business.
WHAT if your budget is thin? How are you going to be able to afford additional sales help? First and foremost don’t overdo the help. You know what your store has done in the past and also should have a recollection of the specific times and days that you’re busier than usual and could use the extra help. There is a fine balance because you don’t want to be over or under staffing.
BEFORE you click on “Indeed” or any help wanted site, be sure to speak with your regular employees and see how they may want to be involved in possibly working additional hours. The best employees are ones that already work for you and are trained and invested in your business already. Keep in mind that additional hours may require overtime pay, health care benefits, and other associated costs depending on what city and state you’re in.
KEEP in mind that there are hidden costs involved in bringing in temporary employees as well. You will need to make payroll requirements as well as spend the time attracting, interviewing, screening and training new seasonal employees which will take quite a bit of time and a good portion of your budget. Keep these costs in mind when you are offering perhaps too generous a salary. Another factor this year is that with one of the lowest unemployment rates in recent years, hiring new employees may be daunting. Depending on the hours you are offering and the pay scale you may be able to bring in people who will take your job as their “second job” to earn some extra holiday money.
REACH out to past employees first to see if they’d be interested in doing some part time work at your business. If they were good workers and left on a good note this could be very advantageous because it will cut down on the hassle and expense of trying to find someone, interviewing from scratch and also training. Your past employee may need a little refresher course but that will be a lot easier than a full training.
LET’S talk about money! Sometimes when we are in the midst of our busy season money is short because a good deal is tied into inventory and operating expenses. And, if your sales or profits are not up but your operating costs are you may need to be creative in financing your short term payroll requirements.
IF you have a business line of credit, this could be a smart time to activate and use it. The revolving line lets you borrow, replenish and borrow again. You’re only required to may interest on the amount you use and this can be a great option for short term credit when needed.
A short term loan may also be used if you’re needing a single lump sum to finance the payroll.
These loans are generally short term, under 18 months, and in some cases the interest on these loans can be rather high, so consider that before you take the loan. Always try to pay back this type of loan as quickly as possible. Being early to pay back makes sense on higher interest money.
WHILE we’re getting close to the holiday madness, the time is now to activate your plans for staffing your business and creating your final quarter business plan. Crunch your numbers, check last year’s records and strategize on the most time and cost effective way to make it through these final months of business. More planning = less stress
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