6 Tips For Seasonal Small Business Owners

Running a seasonal business is not like running a year-round business. There are different things that you need to consider, and if not managed properly, can become a financial mess. You need to not only save money during the off months, but to increase your revenue during the busy months. If you’re the owner of a small business that only operates for a couple of months out of the year, and you’ve been having a little bit of trouble, here are a few tips to hopefully make things run a little more smoothly.

Find New Revenue Sources

The first and best thing you should try to do is find a way to make money during the off-seasons. Examine the resources available to you.  Look at things like location, space, employees, and inventory.  Take a look to see if there is a way they can be used when your business is shut down for the year. For example, if you own a store that only opens in the summer, perhaps you can rent out the space for storage during the winter months. The store is going to be closed any way.  Why not make a little bit of money from it?  Every bit will help.

Rent Out Your Space

Another option is to rent out the space entirely. Let’s again say that you operate in the Summer months, and your store is empty during the Winter. If you know of a similar business that operates in the Winter, you could rent out the space to them during those months, and effectively share the space during your most prosperous months. Of course there are costs associated with moving your business out of its location each year, but if you can make the money work, renting out your space is a good way to bring in some extra revenue.

Use Loans If You Need To

Of course, you won’t always be able to find another source of income for those off months. You’ll still have bills to pay though.  You may need to find another source of funds if money is tight. In this instance, you may want to look into taking out a loan. A working capital loan is commonly used by seasonal business owners to cover things like taxes and payroll, and can help hold you over until your busy season arrives.

Stay In Touch With Customers

Once your business opens back up for the year, you’ll need to make as much money as possible to cover the costs of the other months. A great way to do this is to stay in touch with your customer base year-round. You don’t want people to forget about you just because you take a few months off.  Also, you want them ready to come back as soon as you open. During your open months, try to collect email addresses so you can send out newsletters, and direct your customers to your social media pages.

Promote Your Business Early

Besides keeping in touch with your customers, you want to start promoting your business as early as possible. Your competitors are likely off at the same time as you, and you can get a jump start over them by promoting before the season begins. Start a countdown until you open, and have a big special the first day of business. Anything you can do to drum up interest for the start of the season will help propel you into a good year.

Manage Employee Expectations

Lastly, it is important to manage the expectations you have for your employees.Seasonal workers are likely not going to be as motivated or as experienced compared to full time workers. Many of the people you hire will only be looking for a job that lasts a couple of months, and as such, it is not their top priority. This doesn’t mean every worker you hire is going to be a problem, but it is something to keep in mind.

Know The Challenges

If you’re going to own a seasonal business, you need to know the challenges you are going to face. There are considerations you need to keep in mind that year-round businesses don’t need to think of.  If you don’t plan ahead, you could find yourself facing some tough problems. But by planning, you can help improve your chances for success.

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