And that’s a wrap…nearly. As your company starts winding down for the year, there is one last event that needs your attention: the Year-End Party Extravaganza!
Employees look forward to this auspicious time, and it is a great way to build employee morale. But, depending on the size of your company, year-end functions can rack up a bill anywhere between a couple of hundred to many thousands of rands. For the average small business owner, it can leave a huge dent in an already bare wallet.
It might be too late to rectify the damage for 2018 (this year we’ll settle for Wacky Wednesdays). But, how can you prevent this predicament next year? Here are 5 helpful planning and budgeting tips for your company’s year-end function.
1 Budgeting Starts in January
Every small business should have a budget plan. As part of yours, include an entertainment/event fund for internal use only. Even if you can only afford to put away a few hundred a month, start contributions in January.
PRO TIP: Check in with your entertainment fund in June. If it’s looking healthy, maybe consider adding a team building event to your annual agenda. When it comes to the planning, here is an event budget template to help you along the way.
2 Do Your Research Early
A mistake most business owners make when it comes to planning their year-end function, is starting when it’s already too late. Not only does the cost hit you the hardest, you’re also left with fewer, and usually more expensive, options.
If possible, you should try set money aside at the beginning of the financial year. Things like venue hire, catering services and entertainment are often cheaper the earlier in advance you book. You also then have the luxury of choice and price comparisons.
PRO TIP: If you have enough budget early in the year, consider paying the full amount to your vendors upfront. This often lends to further discounts.
3 Opt For Daytime
Have your function during the day, not the evening. Lunch menus can be more affordable than formal evening dinners. In addition, alcohol consumption at a lunch setting is usually less excessive. This means you won’t have to worry about footing too big a tab for drinks.
PRO TIP: For cheaper alternatives, consider a picnic in a beautiful garden setting, or a relaxing lunch buffet.
4 Employees Only
While you’ll probably be inviting all of your employees to the function, you may want to cut costs by NOT extending that to spouses, partners or children. This way you could be slashing that bill in half.
PRO TIP: Consider conveying that message by highlighting how the time should be seen to be as much a team building event as a party.
5 Be Strategic About Your Dates
Vendors often put a markup on their rates in high season i.e. mid-November and December. A potential way to cut down on costs is to plan for the quieter times. The difference could be a week, but the savings could be huge.
Ask your vendors, or party planner, about rates and availability before setting your sights on a specific calendar date.
With some forward planning, your business can organise a successful year-end function that will be the envy of others, without your having had to spend excessively.