September Check-In: Preparation Tips For Peak Season With Mondays Bookkeeping

September has arrived and as a business owner peak season planning is most likely already underway. Whether you feel like the year has flown by, or you’re looking ahead to the new year. September is a crucial time to set up for success and ensure that the last quarter of the year is successful for your business. We’ve collaborated with Patrice Flynn, owner of Mondays Bookkeeping to provide a glimpse into what’s top of mind for business owners right now and share her tips for the last few months of 2023.

September pulse check with Patrice

Overall, business owners are eager for the second half of the year. I work with a lot of businesses in the northern rivers of NSW and the last few years have consisted of devastating floods and the pandemic, so for the first time in a couple of years I’m noticing things are slowly getting back to where they used to be. Christmas is an exciting time for businesses. It’s a time when they can usually expect sales to increase and there is a sense of busyness in the air. But despite the positive outlook, business owners are still feeling the pinch in many areas outlined below.

Staff shortages: Finding quality employees in the current climate is a major issue. Business owners are relying on retaining current employees more than ever as losing them could be costly. 

Cashflow: Even if a business is doing well on paper, if money in the bank is decreasing it can be tricky to remain positive. 

Time management: Allowing enough time to create/range products for Christmas is a big focus and a pain point for business owners right now. Many are cautious about being able to move stock over the peak period considering the current conditions.

September reminder

Double-check if your award wage has increased. Some awards have increased ever so slightly by cents and many employers are not aware of these new changes. You can learn more about the minimum wage increase here

Key dates to remember

30th September: End of September quarter. 

28th October: September BAS due.  

28th October: Quarterly Superannuation due. 

31st December: End of December quarter. 

28th January: Quarterly Superannuation due. 

28th February: December BAS due. 

Public holidays

2nd October: Labour Day (check if this applies to your state) 

25th December: Christmas Day 

26th December: Boxing day

Three tips to help prepare for peak season

1. If you haven’t already, start thinking about Christmas now. 

It’s time to start thinking about your offerings for the silly season. Will you be running a sale or introducing new products? How will you be catching the attention of your audience when there are so many competitors out there? Start planning now so you are ahead of the game. 

2. If you close down over the Christmas period, have you planned out how you will pay your staff?

This is one of the biggest issues I come across each year. A lot of offices shut down for a minimum of two weeks over Christmas, yet still need to pay staff their leave entitlements.  If cash flow is an issue, start setting aside leave entitlement amounts on a weekly basis. You have a couple of months to create a nest egg ahead of time.

3. Come up with a guilt-free plan so you can relax over Christmas/ summer and be present with family and friends.

Often business owners - including myself - struggle to switch off over the holidays. Some business owners don’t take holidays during peak season depending on the type of business. However, if you do, start planning the time off you would like to take now. Schedule it in your calendar, and make sure your clients are aware. Remember, no emails, no laptop and minimum phone time are important.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. For specific advice applicable to your business, please contact a professional.