November 7, 2018 | By Peyton Sawyer
Seasonal businesses have their ups and downs. The start of one season may have customers flocking through your doors, while another may not. If you have a business that deals in summertime fashion, fun, hobbies, or services, the Spring and Summer can mean a nothing but profit, while the Fall and Winter months are bleak. This is true for any seasonal business. It’s no surprise that ice cream and surfboards lose their popularity in frigid weather.
This does not mean that you won’t be successful in your business. It just means that you will need to learn to prepare and preserve. Prepare for the slow season and preserve by saving the cash needed to make it through. Take a look at a few tips that can help you make good decisions year round.
Manage Your Cash Flow
The key to success in a small business is managing your cash flow. Small businesses live and breathe on cash. Surviving the slow months, means that you will need to save during the busy months.
Keep Expenses Down During the Off Season
Take the time to understand your business and the expenses that are required. If you can find a way to lower your expenses during the slow season, then you'll spend less, and save more. Cutting costs may mean minimizing your inventory order or only hiring seasonal employees to help out when you need it. Paying wages when employees are not needed is a waste of money.
Keep Business Accounts In-Check
Establishing a relationship with your banker is always a plus. Having the business credit needed to take out a line of credit or a business credit card can help get you through the off season. Make sure not to burn your bridges. Paying your bills on time is a must for any business owner, whether you have a line of credit from a traditional banking institution or used alternative funding method with small business financing.
Just because your business is slow a few months out of the year doesn’t mean your customers have disappeared. Keep them in the loop. Advertise all year. Post images, sales, and services on social media year round. Social media is a free and useful tool, especially when you're lacking the cash to do anything else.
Sell Out Your Inventory
Do you have left over inventory? If it has an expiration date or it's a trendy item that will be out of style next season, get rid of it. Slash prices to make a few extra sales. Making a small profit is better than taking a loss. No matter what the item is or the time of year it is, you'll always find someone that will buy it just because they got it for a great price.
Get to Know the Community
Getting involved in the community you work in can help your business stay relevant. It will not only allow you the opportunity to know the community and the people in it, but it will also let them get to know you.