Whether you sell gift packs, bridal wear, fruits, air conditioners, heaters, winter clothes or swimwear, or any other seasonal ware; when the season is around, it’s time to make hay while the sun shines.
Typically, businesses in tourism, hospitality, travel, retail and e-commerce are impacted by the ebb and flow of the seasonal cash flow.They usually see huge spikes in sales and profits during a few months every year, and the rest of the time, the sales volumes are pretty dismal.
However, this doesn’t mean seasonal businesses have to shut shop for a significant portion of the year. It’s all about careful planning and creating the right strategy to keep your business going after the peak season is over.
Here are a few strategies to keep your seasonal business profitable all-year around.
Understand The Differences Between Peak And Off-Season Expenses
Very often, seasonal business owners forget to get a grip of their peak and off-season expenses. They consider both to be the same or underestimate the differences. By having a clear idea of peak and off-season expenses, you can plan for it.
Start with anticipating the required cash flow needs throughout the year and setting up the right ways to avail it. For instance, if you need extra operational cash during peak season, due to hiring additional staff or widening the inventory, you can avail a line of credit or other business loans from trusted digital lenders like Indifi, to help you tide over the peak season.
Additionally, you must consider ways to cut down on operational expenses during off-peak seasons. Some of the strategies for this include — reduced working time, scaling back on maintenance costs, operating with a skeleton team, and more.
Take Advantage Of The Low Work Volumes During The Off-Season
During peak season, you’re bound to feel rushed off your feet with no time to plan. Use the slower times of the year, to plan ahead.
For instance, several successful tour operators use the slower periods to plan and devise strategies that help them grow and improve. Use this period to set targets, goals and plans for the next season. You can use this season to provide employee training, order new equipment, conduct price evaluations, update marketing strategies, etc.
Think Of Alternative Ways To Re-Purpose Your Equipment
One smart strategy is to run two or more seasonal businesses so that one offseason complements another peak season. For instance, if you run a landscaping business that sees zero activity in the winter, you can try adding another company to your portfolio like outdoor & indoor Christmas lighting, thereby complementing each other.
The key here is to get creative and come up with innovative ways to use the existing business equipment outside of the peak season.
Try Out New Product Offerings
The off-season is the best time to try out new product offerings. For instance, if you’re an ice-cream company, you can introduce hot chocolates or other beverages during the winter. Do a trial run, check out whether it appeals to your customers, refine it and then include it as part of your permanent offerings.
This diversification strategy helps to substitute your income during the slower seasons.
Use the Off-Peak Season to create New Marketing Strategies
There are several benefits of focusing your marketing efforts during the quieter periods. They are:
- Rather than creating a rushed marketing campaign, you have plenty of time to come up with a unique and innovative strategy.
- Less competition — By marketing your products and services during off-peak periods, you reach out to a newer audience.
- You keep your audience interested before peak season rolls around. And, when the season starts, they are likely to reach out to you first.
The Bottom Line: Off-Peak Season is the Best Time to Forecast Expenses & Obtain Loans in Advance
By planning and strategizing during the off-season, you get a clear picture of the expenses of the peak seasons. Look for some of the top digital lenders like Indifi, who can provide you with various business loans like line of credit, thereby helping you prepare for the peak season in full swing, well ahead of time.