Tips To Help Seasonal Businesses Stay in the Game Year Round
According to data from the National Federation of Independent Businesses, 1 in 6 businesses have a seasonal component. This means that the bulk of their sales happen during a specific part of the year. So you only have a small time frame to make hay while the sun shines!
1. Use Your Off-Season for Marketing
The off-season should be a downtime for your seasonal business operations, not your marketing campaigns. Keep the conversation going with customers through social networking, e-mail newsletters, and other marketing collateral. Use social media to share interesting and educational information with your followers that relate to your business.
2. Manage Your Expenses During The Off-Season
Make it a point to regularly review your business plan and financial statements before and after your busy season. Do you have supplemental income generating activity do you have in place during your slower periods? How can you minimize your monthly expenses during lulls?
3. Address Staffing Concerns
For business owners, the struggle is in motivating short-term contract workers. Short term work doesn’t really inspire loyalty or stellar job performance unless the owner takes action. The best approach is to create a long-term relationship with your short-term staff. Manage expectations by being clear about the length of the job. Take time to train them in new skills, so that they are motivated to come to work and leave the job with a sense of satisfaction and an eagerness to return next season. Showing your staff that they matter regardless of how short their stay with you is will make them feel important and inspired to perform well in their jobs.
4. Find Complementary Revenue Streams For Slow Times
Venturing into a complementary product or service offering during slow times of the year will help offset the effects of seasonality and are a good way to make use of offseason staff and resources. Landscapers plow snow, wedding planners coordinate holiday parties… be creative. You got into business because you had big ideas. Using your slow season wisely will help keep your business going for years to come.
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