It can be difficult enough to navigate the stormy waters as a startup without the added pressure of trying to stay afloat during the off-season. If you run a seasonal business, it’s incredibly important to ensure that you’re ready for the busy periods as well as being able to keep your head above water when it all goes quiet. Whether you generate more sales in the summer or winter or you depend on the festive rush to see you through, this guide should come in handy.
Preparing for peak season
If you own a business that thrives at certain times of the year, it’s essential to maximize your opportunity to make money when you can. To do this, you need to be fully prepared for the onslaught of orders. Perhaps you own a shop that sells Christmas decorations, you run a bar that is famed for its New Year parties, or you have a landscaping business that boasts soaring sales in the spring and summer months. As your busiest time approaches, make sure you’re ready. You don’t want to be turning away orders or losing out on deals because you can’t cope with demand or you’re not ready to process sales. Think about staff numbers and make sure you’re equipped to take on more work. If you’re undertaking short-term projects, it’s a good idea to look at options such as hiring freelancers or offering temporary contracts to new employees. If you’re expecting a sudden spike, it’s also wise to consider logistics. If you’re sending products out in the mail, for example, how are you going to make sure that all those parcels are packaged and delivered on time?
It’s also worth adapting your marketing campaign to ensure that people are aware of your business in the run-up to peak season. You want to strike while the iron is hot and make the most of seasonal trends. Don’t wait until a week before Christmas to start advertising gifts or decorations. Get in there early and take full advantage of the build-up to the holidays.
Surviving dry patches
If you’ve got a seasonal business, there will be highs and lows. It’s important to make sure that your peak season can sustain you throughout the year. Budgeting is key, and it’s also wise to try and save money when you’re not bringing as much in. If you need business vehicles, but you’re only busy for a couple of months of the year, don’t sign up for lengthy agreements. Instead, take up short-term options from companies like Flex Fleet. Likewise, don’t offer long-term employment contracts. There’s no point in paying somebody to sit an office all day if they’ve got nothing to do. It may also be worth looking at flexible rental agreements if you only need premises during the busy period. The more money you can save during dry patches, the better.
If you run a seasonal startup, it’s incredibly important to plan ahead so that you can survive the dry spells and take full advantage of your busiest periods. Step up your marketing campaign as you approach peak season and make sure you’re prepared. Keep a very close eye on your budget and try and reduce running costs during quieter times.