Many businesses have high and low seasons. The key to running a successful seasonal business lies in making the best of the peak period and understanding how to survive when sales slow. If you run a seasonal business, and you’re hoping to hit the dizzy heights, this guide will help you make hay while the sun shines and stay afloat during quieter times.
Preparing to hit your peak
Whether you have a business that thrives in the run-up to the holidays or you operate a company that hits its peak in the summer, it’s essential to plan ahead. It’s no good ramping up your marketing campaign or hiring extra staff at the last minute. You need to make sure you’re fully equipped to hit the ground running as soon as you start to approach your busiest periods. Ensure you have the resources you need in terms of stock and people power and start taking steps to drive sales. If you’re selling gifts for Christmas, for example, don’t wait until December to start advertising. Step up your marketing strategy in the months running up to the festive period to take advantage of the entire season. Many people start to look for gift ideas long before the big day. If you are expecting an upturn in sales, make sure you’ve got enough stock and staff members to cope with increasing demand. You don’t want to lose out because you’ve sold out of the most popular gifts or turn people away because you haven’t got the manpower to process orders.
Cutting costs in the low season
Running a seasonal business is all about balancing the books. You need to ensure that you take in enough money to keep you solvent throughout the year. When sales start to dwindle, adapt your strategy to cut costs and save money. Look at options like using HR interim services and offering temporary contracts to keep your wage bill low off-season and consider how you spend your money carefully. If you only need business premises for a few weeks of the year, there’s no point in paying rent for a whole year. You could save a huge amount by taking on a short-term rental or even working from home if this is a viable option.
Managing your money
When you have peaks and troughs, it’s essential to maintain a firm handle on your finances. Cash flow issues could put you out of business. You need to make sure that you budget for quieter times and use your money wisely. You’ll need the profits you make during the peak season to fund your endeavors in the coming year, as well as to keep the business going when sales are slow. If you don’t have any experience with accounting, it’s worth seeking expert advice and making use of software that will do all the hard work for you.
If you have a seasonal business, it’s essential to ensure that you can take full advantage of the good times and survive the lull that ensues. Manage your money, make sure you’re ready for your busiest time of the year and try and cut costs during the low season.