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The SME’s Guide to Stocking up for Black Friday and Christmas in 2020

By Lorin Mayers

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November 2, 2020

With the 2020 festive season fast approaching, many SMEs are gearing up for their busiest business period – and it all begins with the larger-than-life precursor otherwise known as Black Friday. Here are six things to consider to ensure you’re prepared for the upcoming holiday period:

1. Forecast, forecast, forecast

If you sell a manufactured product, it’s imperative to plan your inventory ahead of time. Plan accordingly by looking at previous sales seasons, current inventory, and any scaling of business you might expect.

2. Take stock 

SMEs who are in need of extra stock should consider how they will pay for it, as well as any additional costs that may crop up. It’s important to speak to your key suppliers about your needs for the peak season in advance.

3. Strengthen your cash position

This is certainly doable, as long as you plan in advance. From reminding your debtors of their payment terms (namely when their payments are due) and invoicing early, to taking upfront deposits on bulk orders to avoid funding production costs solely from your cash flow, consider the different ways you might end the year on more solid footing, and take action.

4. Bridge gaps in cash flow 

By addressing this sooner rather than later, you’ll have sufficient time to speak to credit providers and determine a workable solution which may meet immediate working capital concerns, such as invoice financing or short-term credit facilities. If 13th cheques or bonuses are a possibility, plan your payroll accordingly.

5. Negotiate longer payment terms 

If you have a history of reliable payments with your suppliers, it may be worth looking into negotiating extended payment terms leading up to peak season. This could provide much needed cash flow relief at a critical time for your business.

6. More hands on deck 

If you’re expecting a potential increase in trade over the festive season, you might want to determine whether you will need part-time help to put you in a better position over the holiday period. The sooner this call is made, the better – have the newbies trained up before business gets too busy. See our guide to hiring year-end staff here.



If 2020 has shown us South Africans anything, it is that SMEs are resilient, resourceful and innovative, which enables them to compete with larger competitors on so many levels. Moving into the festive season as an SME is not always easy, but with the right tools, tips and partners by your side, success is within reach.

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