Seasonal businesses come with their own unique challenges related to the cyclicality of demand. Here's how to address the uncertainty and run a successful seasonal business venture.
Seasonal businesses can be both fulfilling and nerve-wracking to run, due to the long stretches of time potentially without an income. They experience periods of dramatic product demand increases, often occurring in a season or month, where they are expected to make all revenue for the year. There are more than a few strategies to address the off-season and keep your business profitable.
Rock Your Season
Some savvy seasonal business owners can afford to embrace the down time that the off-season provides and take a well-needed break. Often during the holiday and seasonal rush, businesses are swamped with demand, clients, and customers. If strategized appropriately, all revenues can be made during the specific season. It will take a lot of work and practically no breaks for months at a time.
Want to take your seasonal revenue to the next level? Think about doing some business analysis through modeling. You'll be able to see your trends presented mathematically and take much of the guesswork out of your seasonal plans. Here's a great example.
Employ Unique Marketing
As a seasonal business, you should make sure marketing efforts are set in place to celebrate your return at the most opportune time. Rita's Italian Ice is a seasonal franchise on the East Coast that masters this principle. Each year on the first day of Spring they offer free Italian Ices at all their locations.
Making your seasonal business a cherished destination every year builds your brand into the lives and memories of customers, who will return every year. Reflect this in your marketing. Offer memorable events during your season that makes your business synonymous with yearly customs and you'll have a loyal built-in costumer base.
Diversify Your Business
With some ingenuity and creativity you can figure out other ways to capitalize on your business interests and passions year round. Brainstorm areas where your business could expand from their primary streams of revenue.
Wedding planners might be swamped in the summer, but could transition into a diverse range of events throughout the rest of the year. A Halloween shop could consider stocking general party supplies, and if there is local demand, theatre or Renaissance faire costumes. Remember to remind clients in the off-season of the services and products you offer during your peak season.
Reduce Overhead—Launch Online
Much of the stress of keeping a business open during the off-season is the worry of revenues falling short against rent, utilities, and employee salaries. Even if you close up, sitting around with unused boxes of inventory and no income is equally as daunting. Opening up a presence on the web can give you the opportunity to continue with sales and expand your potential client base enormously, with minimal overhead.
There's always somebody, somewhere in the market for Christmas ornaments or surfboards, or anything under the sun. Selling online is easier today than it's ever been. There are many templates for small business websites and you can read more about setting up a seller account on eBay here: http://pages.ebay.com/sellerinformation/howtosell/sellingbasics.html