Running a business is challenging, but more so for seasonal businesses. For business owners, it can cause great concern whether they will earn during the off-season. This is despite the ability to earn a lot during peak months. A seasonal business may even go through an off-season without selling a single product in a worst-case scenario.
With seasonal businesses, the opportunity to earn is limited to a few months only. Because of this, problems with cash flow are common with seasonal businesses. Unfortunately, cash flow issues can pile up and cause bigger problems if not managed.
Seasonal businesses must take advantage of their off-season to help them reach their business goals. This can help them prepare for lean months. This article aims to provide you with several tips on improving your seasonal business and enabling it to earn even when peak season is over.
Promote Your Business and Market Your Products
The Forbes magazine suggests using your off-peak season to market your products and services and increase brand awareness for your business. It may be a season when sales slow down, but your marketing strategies shouldn’t be stopped.
The best approach to promoting your business and marketing your products is constant communication with your customers and target market.
Keep communicating with your customers. Continue sending them email newsletters and responding to their messages through social media. Maintain customer engagement to let them know that your business is still running.
Aside from communicating with your customers, you can also share industry-related news or articles. You can also provide insights into trends in your industry. For everything you’ll share, make sure to solicit comments from your customers, readers, or viewers.
Put Up an Off-season Sale
Treat your customers to an off-season sale. It’s one of the best ways to attract customers to keep coming back to your business even after the peak season, according to the US Chamber of Commerce. What’s also great about it is that you have many options to launch an off-season sale.
First, you can offer discounted prices on your products or services. You can also hold a “flash sale” for a set time. Customers will scramble to get your products considering they’re available at a low price for a limited period only.
You can also offer early payment discounts. It means you’ll be giving away discounts if customers are willing to pay now for when your business is up again for the peak season.
Offer your products or services as giveaways to contests. For example, you can hold a contest now, but winners can only get the prize for the next season. You can ensure that customers will return this way. It’s also an excellent opportunity to gather emails from your customers.
Diversify Your Products and Services
Offer different kinds of products and services. You still have your main, seasonal business, which you should focus on. However, you should also have another source of income during lean months.
A way to diversify your offerings is to take advantage of unused business assets that can be used to develop new products or services. All you have to do is evaluate what you have and think of ways to use them as alternative income streams.
For example, if you run an outdoor coffee shop, you can’t open your shop in the winter when it snows often. To keep your business running despite the freezing weather, you can put up a sunroom building over the winter so that your customers can still enjoy their coffee while enjoying the view of the outdoors.
Another great example is a catering business for weddings. The peak season for weddings is from May to October. Beyond these months, you may have customers, but they’re not enough to cover your business expenses. You can instead switch to corporate clients during your lean months.
Providing an off-season alternative to your business is also an excellent way to diversify your products and services.
Avoiding unnecessary expenses and saving money during peak season are also strategies to keep your business from losing profits during the off-season. However, you have a better chance of surviving your off-peak months if you plan to do right from the start.
It’s fun to run a seasonal business. You don’t get tied up to a single cause. Plus, it can be satisfying to see customers return for a new season. There are challenges, though, just like with any business.
However, if you set up a plan to navigate your off-peak months, you get to scale your business. You’ll be able to expand your inventory and hire additional staff.
Plan ahead and consider the tips above to maximize your peak season gains and survive the off-season.