How To Improve Cashflow After The Xmas Holidays

It’s a common occurrence in small service businesses. You’ve worked hard and sent out a bunch of invoices to your customers right before the Xmas holidays and now you’ve taken a well-deserved break.

However, you’ve come back to work after 3 weeks off and noticed that there’s no money in the business bank account. What’s happened?

Well you weren’t the only one taking a break. Your customers were off at that time as well! And generally that means they will be slow to pay you.

How can you plan for this happening next year and also what can you do to fix it now? Here are 3 quick fixes you can put in place:

1. Chase up your customers that owe you money immediately

You need to call your customers as soon as you get back to the office to find out what is happening with your invoices. Remember: “the squeaky wheel gets the oil”.

By following up with your client, most likely your invoice will jump to the top of the pile and will get paid sooner than other bills which aren’t getting followed up on.

Your invoicing system should have already fired off auto-reminders, so don’t defer to email again – make sure you or your accounts team picks up the phone.

2. Consider partial upfront payments in December

As these invoice “holiday blues” tend to happen every year, you may consider revising your invoicing strategy.

If it’s say mid December and you normally invoice for the full price of a job on completion, you may choose to invoice 50% upfront. That way at least you have some cashflow to carry you through the lean holiday period.

As long as you communicate with your client at the outset, they should be fine with this method of invoicing.

3. Plan for lean cashflow in the October to December quarter

If you know that cashflow is going to be lean in the October to December quarter, you should defer large cash purchases and reduce any discretionary cash spending.

You should also be chasing up your customers who have been dragging their feet to pay you now. Remember, as soon as they go on holiday it becomes that much harder to get paid!

By doing all this, you will have as much cash as possible as you go into the lean period.


The Xmas holidays should be a happy time. By putting the above measures in place, you can ensure that your bank account stays happy as well!

Also we have some more cashflow tips here:

Good luck!

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