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Updated: Nov 24, 2015
As far as we know, no one jolly and bearded is going to pop down your chimney to leave a shiny new loan in your stocking—even if your business has been extra good this year.
Thanks to the rise of marketplace lending, you have much more realistic options for fast and flexible holiday financing, so throw out those expensive, coal-black offers and scribble down your financing wish list. We’re here to help.
Here are four reasons you may need an extra injection of holiday financing this year—and why a term loan is your best way forward.
Simply put, if you’ll need financing to make or purchase enough inventory upfront to meet your projected sales goals throughout the season – then now is the time to act. Depending on your business model, considering budgeting for warehouse space to store your inventory, or distributors to get your inventory to the right place exactly when you need it— whether that’s to one of your retail locations, or directly to a customer’s wreathed doorstep.
If you need to increase your bulk, upfront inventory purchases or expand your warehouse space to hold more holiday inventory than last year, a term loan may be an easy way to afford an upgrade. Unlike a merchant cash advance (which usually takes a cut of your sales every day, with daily interest – ouch!), our monthly payments are fixed and low, so you won’t feel the impact during your busiest days. And, there are no early repayment penalties if you want to pay off your loan early with your holiday revenue.
Looking for extra inventory inspiration? Check out our 6 handy tips for managing your holiday.
Small business owners are famous for pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps—but there are two ways to make sure busy season isn’t harder than it has to be. First, consider investing in inventory management software. Such systems can help you calculate purchasing predictions, and create barcodes for in-store items that make it easier to track inventory movement and returns (especially those without receipts!).
The best part? Your software should monitor your inventory levels for you—and alert you when popular items are running low, with plenty of time to spare. Such an investment could save you money in the long run, because you won’t run out of bestsellers and miss out on lost sales opportunities— or, conversely, buy too much of a certain item and be stuck with discount bin overflow after the holiday season ends.
Second, make your in-store experience as smooth as possible for your employees and customers by ensuring you have the right equipment. What short-term equipment leases could help you accommodate the increase in holiday foot traffic? You may wish to rent additional cash registers, point of sale systems, or mobile credit card readers to keep your lines short and fluid.
A term loan is a stellar option for software investments and equipment rentals, because our Credit team is flexible and doesn’t evaluate your business solely based upon your business’s current physical collateral (or lack thereof).
All the technology and software in the world will never replace the people (and skill sets) that help your holiday season come alive—and support the extra in-store workflow that’s a welcomed, inevitable part of gift list season. If you want to take your team to the next level this year, consider making some specialized hires to help with more complex investments in your business’s success, like marketing, website development, or design.
Carefully measured investments in people smarts on a project basis now can take your holiday sales up the chimney and through the roof—and the positive benefits of a better website or marketing automation program last all year long.
To learn more about how to build a smart seasonal hiring strategy, check out our 7 steps to hiring helpful seasonal employees.
Upgraded warehouse space, a better-functioning website, and extra hands on deck: such investments now could really pay off later. The flip side? You might end up with tighter cash flow than usual until slower accounts receivables catch up and your holiday revenues hit the books.
This may be a good problem to have—after all, it takes money to make money—but you’ll need funds leftover in the meantime while you’re weathering post-holiday returns and waiting for your profits to catch up. Having sufficient cash flow to cover your normal day-to-day expenses (like payroll or rent) is critical for your operational success and peace of mind.
If you want to take your business operations to the next level this year (and stay sane in the meantime), check your eligibility for a flexible Funding Circle loan today.
Paige Smith is a Content Marketing Writer and Senior Contributing Writer at Funding Circle. She has a bachelor's degree in English Literature from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and specializes in writing about the intersection of business, finance, and tech. Paige has written for a number of B2B industry leaders, including fintech companies, small business lenders, and business credit resource sites.