Having a seasonal business doesn't mean that you can only make money part-time. While being a business owner is tough, only making money part of the year can really complicate things. But just because you run a seasonal business doesn't mean you'll have no cash flow during the off-season. With careful planning and a calculated approach, your business can keep making money even after the busy season ends. Here's how to keep your business going all year, whether you're getting ready for the holidays or easing off after the seasonal rush.
1. Take care of your costs during the off-season
It's important that you are always aware of your cash flow and ongoing costs and carefully tracking them. This is especially important for seasonal businesses. Once you know how much it costs to run your business during the off-season, look for ways to reduce or cut costs over this slower period. Also, ask yourself how you can increase your sales during the slower months by adapting your product and service offering to a different customer or time of year.
2. Strategise for the off-season
Even though it's not your busy season, you can still get things done and improve your business. Use this time to make plans, train staff, and develop new strategies. The off-season is a great time to look at what worked well and what didn't. Consider how things went last season, what to do differently and where to focus efforts in the future.
3. Diversify your product offering
At the end of your busiest season, you should look through your product lines and try to see if you can offload or sell any stock. Get back some of the money by selling these items for what you paid for them. Even if you make a slight loss, it's better than holding onto dead stock. The trick is to try and get as close as possible to zero inventory before the end of the season.
4. Find new locations
Your business may be slow where you are currently based, but there may be a need for it in other locations. For example, if your business sells items that are popular in the spring and summer, you might see a drop in sales in Autumn and winter. But it could make sense to export your product to European destinations with opposite seasons at that time of year.
5. Consider end-of-season sales
If there are items left over at the end of the season, they don't have to sit in a warehouse for the next six months. You could sell some of this stock to other businesses or give it to your customers at a very low price. For example, if you sell things with a Christmas theme, you can keep selling them at a lower price. After the holidays, many customers go out of their way to take advantage of big sales. You might not make as much money as you do during your busiest time, but this is a great way to keep making money even during the tail-end of the season.
6. Talk to your customers often
Even though the busy season is over, your relationship with your customers is ongoing. To keep your customers, it's important to stay in touch and keep building that connection throughout the year. Continue writing blog posts and regularly sharing on social media. Keep sending weekly emails to your customers so they get used to hearing from you regularly. Maintaining a strong bond with your customers has many benefits. First, it shows that your business is a leader in its field. People will automatically think of your business when they think of your type of product, and they will be more likely to tell their friends and family about you.
The bottom line
Seasonal businesses carry different kinds of pressure and risk than others do. But this can be carefully considered, and when approached with a growth mindset, you can use that period to move stock, plan for ongoing seasons and strengthen your brand positioning. Remember that if you need to grow your business quickly, consider a Cash Advance. This type of business funding is tailor-made for seasonal businesses, as repayments happen directly in-line with turnover. Contact Merchant Capital for more and fund your seasonal business within 48 hours.