For many people, the holidays bring a certain joy to the end of the year. Family, friends, food, and quality time are a few things that come to mind when thinking about the holidays, whether you celebrate Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Boxing Day, or Kwanza.
But, through the hustle and bustle with the fun of the holidays, also comes some considerations for your business. Keeping a tab on your funds will help you plan your financials and set yourself at ease to enjoy the holidays to the fullest!
3 Money Tips for your Business During the Holidays
Being aware of your funds will only help you feel good about all those presents you are buying for loved ones during this time of year. Here are 3 tips to help you with your business during the holidays so you can enjoy some downtime and celebrate with your loved ones!
1. First things first – know your settlement time
In the day and age of electronic payments, knowing your settlement time options is very important to knowing when you will receive that money in your account. The settlement time is simply the ‘cut off’ for same day processing.
Let’s say your settlement time is 8:00 pm. Any electronic payments transmitted at 8:01 pm or after will process (or settle) the next business day. Settlement times earlier in the day will ensure your money is received the fastest. However, later settlement times will help your processing statements line up better with your bank deposits.
Each business owner should weigh the pros and cons of each scenario to decide what is best for them and set the settlement time accordingly. If you aren’t sure, work with your gateway to determine what is the best fit for your needs!
If you process electronic payments (commonly referred to as ePayments) with Jackrabbit Class for your youth activity center, we recommend setting your settlement time to 11:30 pm. This will help Jackrabbit, which has a reporting time frame that ends at midnight daily, match more closely with your processing statement from your merchant. Reconciling your bank account will be a much easier task!
2. Prepare yourself for settlement delays
With the holidays comes bank closures. Why is that important to you? Well, if the banks are closed, that delays when your electronically processed payments hit your bank account.
This isn’t such a downer if it is something you are prepared for. But if it hits you by surprise, you could find yourself in a pickle! Especially with payroll, you want to make sure that you have the funds in your account when you need them there.
As you get closer to the holidays, encourage your clients to get their accounts paid up before heading out of town to be with their families. Most often, payments are due at the beginning of the month, so asking your customers to have their account current towards the end of the month (when the holidays tend to fall) shouldn’t be unreasonable.
Being aware and proactive under these circumstances will make for a happy holiday season for you and your employees!
3. Be aware of scammers!
The holidays have a way of getting people in the spirit. Everyone is more cheerful and generous than normal! Unfortunately, scammers know this and use the holiday spirit, also known as vulnerability, to their advantage.
Kind of like this guy…
What should help you spot a scammer?
When you hear stories about scams, it’s easy to think “I’d never fall for that!” but sadly, it happens more than you know. Youth activity centers aren’t exempt!
A few of our clients shared their experiences in hopes of bringing awareness to others. While Jackrabbit keeps information secure, it is important that you look for red flags when dealing with unfamiliar people.
What are some examples of red flags?
- A new customer wants to pay for a large number of swim lessons with a little extra up front for good measure. If they ask to pay with a credit card, chances are the card is stolen.
- In addition, scammers will use a story that pulls on your heart strings. Perhaps a family member is sick and they want to help get the children to dance class. They will ask that the extra money they paid be given to a driver, for example, in cash for transportation costs.
- Sometimes, scammers will contact you afterwards and ask for a partial or full refund because they have been unexpectedly hospitalized. Often times, they will ask you to send the money through something like CashApp, Zelle, or Venmo.
If you find yourself in this situation or one similar, always refund back to the original credit card. Better safe than sorry!
Scammers are very creative and inventive. If you miss a red flag, contact your gateway provider immediately so you aren’t out even more money.
By providing these money tips, we hope to help you keep the joy in your jingle – and protect yourself and your money – this holiday season!