Every seasonal business whether it’s a haunted house attraction for Halloween or a winter cloth shop. There will be times when the engagement level of customers will drop, sales will decrease, and stores will start to look like a ghost town.
When managing a seasonal business you only have a small frame of time to turn in more profit and achieve the targeted goals.
During the peak season, you should make the most of the brief window to earn the amount that will help you sustain through the off-season. And then when the peak season subsides, you should focus on planning for the next year, reviewing operations, working up new marketing & advertising campaigns, developing new products, and expanding your services.
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The best way of managing a seasonal business is by planning ahead. Small business owners are already aware of the fact that seasonal fluctuations can seriously impact the business. We have put together a few ideas to help you during the peak season of your business.
Creativity is the key to every business. Every business today is operating in a highly competitive, global environment, making creativity crucial. Creative ideas are what fuel big challenges and change the perception of employees. Creativity and innovation are two completely different paths.
One can be creative but not innovative. For instance, Starbucks coffee there is not the best to savor but customers visit the place for more than that. They enjoy the ambiance, warm welcoming interior, color combinations, music, and even in some cases the furniture and sitting area. There’s more to a brand than just selling behind the counter, you’re selling experiences and memories to your customers.
Work on a Business Model
A business model is about doing research, taking action, and building a business by what you have learned. You should work on strategies to overcome the challenges that may arise. Seasonal businesses themselves describe the natural fluctuations that could cause the cycle of sales and customer demand.
Work on a business model to avoid some unique challenges and run your seasonal business smoothly:
- Stick to the plan
- Know your customers
- Invest time in research
- Determine the monthly expenses
- Have multiple budgets
- Logistics and operations plan
Watch What Your Competitors are Doing
As the famous saying goes for every business, keep your friends close and your enemy closer. When you have an idea about what your competitors are doing, it’s much easier to stand out from them.
So keep an eye on how your competitors are coping. And what about indirect competition? You can also consider taking some ideas from your competitors and see if they suit your business. To be clear, we’re not suggesting copying them, it’s about getting inspiration from where you can get it.
By monitoring your competition you can also get insight into where they’re lacking or if there’s any room for improvement. Doing this will provide a piece of valuable information about how to increase your number of customers during peak season.
Develop New Products and Services
Use the relative time or off-season of your business to think and develop new products and services and make improvements in the last year’s offered services for managing a seasonal business. Even the businesses that stay on top during the peak season, still have concerns about how the off-season will turn out.
Proper management planning is essential for businesses to thrive and survive. Some of the ways you can monitor your sales and work on new services while managing a seasonal business
- Stick to your concept and keep improvising
- Plan your development process
- Test the concept
- Keep inventing new products and services
- Work on a marketing plan
Stay Updated with Your Cash Flow Model
Conduct regular cash flow modeling weekly, monthly, or annually. Separate the fixed and variable expenses, and plan accordingly to cover the varied expenses.
Former seasonal data can help you guide through the budgeting process. Plan a fixed payment and secure a line of credit for unexpected expenses. Some expenses can be structured so that they fit into your budget. For instance, you can negotiate with vendors or market your core offerings to find more clients.
Since your business revenue is highly seasonal, you have to budget your cash flow properly. When bringing on seasonal workers, many businesses consider hiring quantity over quality. If you do not take the proper time and sources to onboard the employee this could lead to trouble.
Know how much you’ll earn and how much you’ll lose in your slow months and base your budget accordingly. Other than staff hiring, turn more of your fixed expenses into variable expenses. When doing seasonal hiring for managing a seasonal business take time and write proper detailed quality job descriptions or you can also contact previous years’ employees.
Save as much as you can
Obvious but mandatory to mention when managing a seasonal business save up during the fat times and be ready for the lean times. Focus according to a disciplined budget plan to avoid losing sight of the budget.
In order to save as much as you can, you should practice keeping costs down in several different ways – by avoiding unnecessary spending, saving money on storage space, hiring temporary employees, and cutting costs by working with suppliers who offer discounts and special rates.
Create an Event Marketing Calendar for Your Business
Mostly it’s hard to follow what events are coming up that could affect your seasonal business. Get yourself a self-help platform and list all the events and participants in one place. Use Picktime, a cloud-based appointment scheduling software for customer and team management.
From beauty & wellness to medical to personal meetings to education Picktime is designed to serve every business need. There are no extra software installations required and you can access it at any location. Using Picktime you’ll get a unique and customizable booking page and book now widget for your business website.
Picktime allows you to manage one-on-one appointments, group class bookings, and even all your equipment in a few clicks.
It has a user-friendly interface with 24×7 email support. Not only this you’ll get SMS & email reminders, real-time slot availability, time zone conversion, attendance & waitlist, revenue reports, upfront payment & invoice handling just integrate with any of your favorite – PayPal, Square, or Stripe. Sign up for free today and start upscaling your seasonal business.
Managing a seasonal business can be fun but the challenge is to know how to maximize your earnings all year round. Consider the off-season as an opportunity to improve your business plans and connect with your customers.