Time out for you but not for your money

Four things to do to give you peace of mind about your finances when you go on holiday

Ok, so you’re heading off on holiday for a few weeks and you want to make sure your finances are in order before you go and will be in reasonable order when you return … what do you need to do?

The key thing is to work out what will come in and what will go out of your bank account whilst you’re away so that your bills get paid, products get delivered but you don’t rack up emergency overdraft fees unexpectedly (and expensively).

Question 1: what do you need to deliver to clients before you leave and do any of those things trigger invoices from you?

If you deliver services then there’s great value in anything you can deliver to the client before you leave so that either a job is finished or a key stage is reached so you can invoice before you leave. If a project is ongoing then at least being able to put the ball in their court whilst you’re away so that they’re not waiting on your return is also useful.

For those who sell products then make sure you’ve made your deliveries to wholesale clients in particular so that there is no interruption in their stocks or sales levels is essential. If you sell retail then consider to what extent products can be sold and delivered in your absence. If this is not possible then you need to respond to clients if a sale is confirmed in your absence if the delivery period will be slightly longer due to your holiday. Again if you’re making deliveries to B2B clients then invoicing before you leave will be much better for your cashflow than if you wait until your return.

Why does this matter? Well whilst you’re on holiday you’re probably not making sales, confirming new pieces of work etc so this short hiatus in work flow can cause gaps in your incoming cashflow and yet you still need to keep paying yourself, your staff and your suppliers.

 

Question 2: What bills will need be paid whilst you’re away

Do you have regular standing orders or direct debits for your ongoing suppliers? Are there any deliveries that will need to be paid for whilst you’re away? Can you schedule payments by BACS so that they go through whilst you’re away.

If you have suppliers whose payments will be delayed because of your absence then it’s worth letting them know how much their payment will be delayed so that they know to expect it and don’t come chasing you! You might choose to pay some of them in part or in full before you go if your cashflow will stand it and it would maintain a good relationship with the suppliers.

Question 3: Will anyone in your team need to make a money related decision in your absence?

If there is a deadline looming that requires a decision to be made either about costs to a client or budgets with a supplier then can you make your contribution to these decisions before you leave so that your team can carry on without you? If the decision can’t be made in advance then what provision can you make for the team to make it without you whilst you’re away or as a last resort for  you  to call in to a teleconference? Here at MyCake we’re very much of the opinion that holidays matter and that you need them to rest, relax and recharge so that you can return to your creative best 😉

Question 4: What will these changes in the incoming and outgoing monies put you in the red?

In addition to avoiding delays for clients and your team you need to have a think about whether these changes in financial patterns will put you into the red. As most banks make substantial charges (up to £30 a day) for emergency overdrafts you really want to avoid this as it’s not unlikely that you wouldn’t realise that it had happened until you were back in the country so you could rack up charges of a couple of hundred pounds and payments due to be made by direct debit might not go through. If this then affected whether your website was functioning fully and taking payments or your cloud computing systems accessible then this could have a substantial knock on effect on your business.

If in addition to planning out what your cashflow should look like whilst you’re away you also speak to your bank so that they know how to contact you or a member of your team so that if they need to call you before refusing to make a payment they can do so (not that that’s a guarantee that they will call!).

In summary you’re aiming to automate as many of your financial matters as possible whilst keeping track of any key decisions that need to be made whilst you’re away. Get it right and you should return to see a few of those invoices you sent out before you left appear as credits to your bank account giving you a nice little boost whilst you get your feet back under your desk!

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