Some stores have a steady stream of customers all year round, while others depend on a burst of activity that quickly turns into a slow trickle. Seasonal businesses have to be strategic about their off-season when the storefront isn’t crowded with patrons and the profits shrink. When you plan ahead, you can make sure that your budget stays comfortable and you make it to the next peak season unscathed.
Get More Funding.
One of the ways to survive a long off-season is to have plenty of funds set aside — you can dip into these to account for the dip in cash-flow. It’s an important safety net. You don’t want to be several months into the off-season and realize that you don’t have enough to last until peak season begins. This financial panic is all-too-common.
If you don’t have room in your budget, you should consider looking at small business funding options from an alternative funding resource. Traditional banks and investors often reject small business requests for financial support or give owners very little to work with. Don’t waste your time. Turning to a non-traditional resource raises your chances of getting the substantial help you need in a hurry.
By replenishing your reserves, you can have enough financial padding to deal with drops in cash flow and lulls in walk-in customers. With enough funding, you can invest in features that can increase your profits like marketing, service diversification and product expansion.
The storefront doesn’t need a massive team to watch over it if only a few customers are going to walk in. Over-staffing will eat into your budget and put the business in a precarious position. You can stretch the budget by hiring seasonal workers that only come in for the peak months of the year and stop when the off-season begins. These positions are ideal for people who need flexible schedules like high school and university students.
Expand Your Services.
Maybe you don’t want to reduce the staff members you have already hired. Then, you need to create tasks for them. It doesn’t make sense to have them watch over an almost empty store. You can give your employees work to do and increase your profits by expanding your services during the off-season.
Use the equipment and resources you have to tack-on more options for customers. If you’re a Halloween store, create options for other types of holidays and parties to keep people coming in year-round. Or use your costumes, wigs and makeup products to target customers that work in the local entertainment business.
There are customers that want your products, but they may not be in your storefront’s neighbourhood. When you move part of your business online, you extend your customer reach and raise your chances of making profits, even during the off-season. If you’re really successful with online sales, you can use portions of these profits to pour into your storefront later on.
You don’t have to shutter your doors the moment that customers stop flocking in. By following these business strategies, you can manage your budget throughout the entire off-season and find ways to push past the setbacks and make more sales.