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. You can visit this link for more information on how to get a working capital loan for your business.

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.

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

March 2017 Updates

It’s March!  Did you know that even though Spring doesn’t officially start until later this month, that from a meteorological standpoint, spring has started?  That’s right, from a meteorological perspective, the seasons start on the 1st of the month of the calendar change.  I guess they know something we don’t!  I hope that things are going well.  Here are some March 2017 updates and goals.

Fitness

I recently wrote about some renewed focus on my fitness.  So far this is going well!

  • As of the end of February, I’ve dropped 5.8 pounds.  I’ve also dropped my body fat percentage from 21.0% to 19.0%.  These are both since the beginning of the year.  Both of these numbers make me happy.
  • I’m getting to the gym around 4 times per week.
  • I’m mostly running and walking.
  • I haven’t got as much weight lifting done as I’d hoped.  I had hernia surgeries years back, and the weight lifting has caused some minor pain in the area.  I got things checked during a recent visit, and I haven’t done any damage.  Most likely it’s pulling on the scar tissue.  The doctor recommended that I skip the weights until I’m pain free, then see if I can narrow it down to figure out what’s causing the pain.  If that works, I can eventually cut out just the portion of my workout that’s causing the stress.

Taxes

  • We got our taxes submitted to our CPA, and it was done in record time.  That was the good news.  The bad news is that the refunds were a few hundred dollars less than I’d hoped.  Oh, well!
  • We already got our refunds!
  • The refunds came so quick that we didn’t even have a chance to allocate the money, so we’ll have to do that.

Florida Trip

Our spring break trip is just around the corner!

  • Both of the big bills for our upcoming spring break trip have been paid: Renting our condo and our flights.
  • Our biggest to-do (except for packing) is to plan our trip back and forth to the airport.  We’re actually driving about 3.5 hours to an airport in Ohio.  The flights were about 50% cheaper versus flying from Detroit.
  • We won’t have a car while we’re down in Florida.  We can Uber to and from the airport.  There’s a trolley line that runs from our hotel to nearby grocery stores (we also plan to use Amazon Prime Pantry).  All of the restaurants and beaches we plan to visit are within walking distance.

Other March 2017 Updates

  • Lawn – I’ll be working in the backyard.  Since we had some tree stumps removed, I’ll have to dig out the shavings, fill in with top soil and put some seed down.  We have a number of other spots throughout our yard that could use some fill in, so I’m debating just getting a load of top soil delivered.
  • Fridge – Our basement fridge is one that we borrowed many years back.  It’s a mini-fridge (bigger than a box fridge) but has worked well.  We knew that the owner might want it back, and it’s been our plan to move the old, ugly white fridge in the kitchen to the basement and get a new kitchen fridge.  Well, our ticket was finally called.  Unfortunately, it was about two weeks past President’s Day, which is when you can get some good sales.  So, while we’re not going to rush to buy a new fridge and overpay, we may be down to a single fridge for awhile until we find a deal.  As we’re often at capacity with our current two fridges, this could be troublesome.

Readers, how are things going for you this March?  

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

5 Reasons To Explain How Trump Won The Election

Donald Trump just pulled off what many people thought was impossible.  He has been elected President of the United States.  I’m not going to get into the politics, because honestly, I’m sure anybody with Facebook has seen enough of that.  Let’s look at some of the key things that defined how Trump won the election.

Trump Took Advantage of Washington Backlash

People have grown more and more angry at Washington politics.  People are tired of gridlock, and they wanted something different.  Trump came in as something completely different.  Many who were sick of feeling that Washington was no longer working for them (or working at all) were willing to give Trump a chance.  He saw a

Image courtesy Google
Image courtesy Google

weakness in the system and jumped to fill it.

Trump Capitalized On Hillary’s Mistrust

The Clinton’s have been a force in Washington for 30 years.  During that time, the Clinton’s have achieved a lot but they’ve also been at the center of quite a few controversies.  Trump is involved in enough controversy himself, but he was still able to use the years of issues against Hillary to his advantage.

Trump Got People More Excited

From the time that the general election started, it seemed like Hillary had the advantage, but Trump had the excitement.  The number of yard signs I saw for Trump outnumbered Hillary by probably 3-t0-1.  I saw someone

driving their truck down the middle of Main Street honking, with a big Trump sign in the back.  While Hillary had her share of enthusasitc supporters, by and large it seemed like Trump’s were way more excited.  This kept Hillary’s support steady but allowed Trump to build a steadily increasing buzz.

Trump Was Like Gump….He Just Kept On Running

Remember a couple of weeks ago when Trump said that he might not concede the election?  Now that I look back, I don’t think that was ever his point.  Remember back when there was talk that the Republican party might try to undermine him and Trump said he would just run as an independent?

Trump’s campaign largely reminded me of the scene in Forrest Gump where he starts running across the country, and people start following, and don’t stop.  Why don’t they stop?  Because Forrest didn’t.  Same goes with Trump.  If Trump backed off even for a second, some of his ‘runners’ might have stopped and he could have lost them.  So, he didn’t stop.  He just kept running and his followers kept right on with him.

Trump Turned Issues Into Non-Issues

How many wacky things did Trump say?  How many awful things were uncovered about him?  So many it can’t be counted.  But, somehow Trump was able to deflect every single one of these and get people to overlook them.  That’s why Hillary’s ad strategy for the last two week now looks like a giant mistake.  Her ads showed Trump saying and doing bad things, and they told a lot of truth.  Unfortunately, they didn’t work. If people hadn’t been turned off by then, it wasn’t going to happen.  Hillary should have realized this and concentrated her ads on herself and what she could bring to the job.  She did end up doing this the last two days before the election, but I think by then it was too late.

Readers, what do you think that Trump did right or that Hillary did wrong that has led us to where we stand today?

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.

Are Installment Loans the Right Choice For You

Life happens and unexpected expenses, with even planned events such as a wedding or home improvement project, can send any household budget into a frenzy. Not only that, but the stress alone can also take a toll on your health. In these instances, taking out an installment loan may be the answer to your problems.

An installment loan generally has set scheduled payments due on a particular date each month. Some examples are your mortgage, a car loan and student loans. Generally, the determined  interest rate comes from the market and your credit score. Before increasing your monthly budget, make sure that you are comfortable with the amount you’ll have to pay. Remember, if it ends up that you miss or make a few late payments, your credit score can take a hit that may take months, even years to recover.

There are also other types of loans with short-term repayment terms that might offer a better option. While the payments each month will be higher, you will lose the loan faster, paying it off in months instead of years. A payday loan is an easy to acquire loan well-suited for someone that does not own a home and has a less than stellar credit rating. However, this type of loan also comes with high-interest penalties, sometimes even more than the initial loan itself and the terms of repayment are limited. Yet another choice and a better alternative to the predatory payday loan is to look at fast installment loans. Personal cash loans and installment loans in amounts up to $1250 as an alternative option to payday lending. Key benefits include minimal eligibility requirements, fast-funding and flexible repayment. Qualified applicants must have a social security number, an active checking account, and a verifiable source of income.

Taking out an installment loan can also help you improve your credit score. This, of course, depends on how many other open sources of credit you already have. If you have only a couple of credit cards and a mortgage, an installment loan paid on time will show credit worthiness. However, if you already have many credit cards with high balances, a car payment and a mortgage, your debt to income ratio could be a red flag for a potential lender.

Ultimately, it’s always best to plan for a major purchase, an event or a remodel, by having the funds set aside in a savings account. This way there is no pending bill that will increase your monthly expenses. Of course, if it’s something that’s unavoidable, you have to go with the option that works best for your situation. Installment loans offer an affordable way to pay for the expense over time. If you have a mortgage in good standing, check with the bank you use first, to see if you can acquire a HELOC or a personal loan. The interest rates are generally lower and repayment terms can range from a few years and up.

When it comes to taking on debt always make sure that it’s something you can handle and something that you need now. Establishing a savings account and building up the money so that you can pay it off without interest is the better way to go. If it’s a home improvement project or a car payment, delaying the purchase or work order until you have the money saved can help you enjoy your life to the fullest without the added stress of being just one paycheck away from poverty.

Copyright 2017 Original content authorized only to appear on Money Beagle. Please subscribe via RSS, follow me on Twitter, Facebook, or receive e-mail updates. Thank you for reading.