Owning a business is one thing. Owning a business that operates seasonally is another. Managing the finances of a company that remains closed, inactive, or unpopulated for parts of the year can be like navigating a minefield.
As a seasonal business owner, you have to make sure that your busy season is booming. It’s the only way you can carry your expenses for the rest of the entire year.
Below are a few expert tips on how to save money when you operate a seasonal business. Be sure to try these out during the off-season to make your booming season extra popular and your off-season more manageable.
Establish a Savings Account
Smaller seasonal businesses often have only enough cash on hand to stay afloat for about a month.
The lack of savings can spell disaster, especially as the busy season winds down or during unexpected lulls.
A safe and secure savings account means that even in emergencies, you can pay staff. For seasonal businesses, this type of saving is essential. You’ll need savings to stay afloat during a challenging off-season.
Optimize Your Staffing
One of the biggest pitfalls of a new seasonal business is overstaffing or understaffing. Paying staff for a seasonal business can become a significant financial drain if not organized well.
Often, a seasonal business will utilize year-round staff and give fewer and fewer hours with the transition into an off-season. While this isn’t a terrible idea, it means you have more people on the books.
More staff means more responsibility to hand out hours. When the hours run out, you end up forced to be overstaffed when the company isn’t busy.
Companies that only employ salaried staff like tax preparation offices see even higher losses. The operational cost stays the same despite client volume continuing to drop.
A good rule to live by as an entrepreneur is to cut down your team to its essential parts that work year-round. Then, you can layer seasonal staff with short-term contracts on top of it.
Use Analytics to Find Off-Season Clients
Just because you have people flocking to your store during a big booming season and no one during the lulls, it doesn’t mean those are your only clients. A great way to save money on off-season is to find new ways to bring in clients during non-busy periods.
Once you know that there is a pattern of new clients inquiring primarily on weekends, you can use that information to set a cost-optimized schedule. Why stay open on Mondays in the off-season if you only get walk-ins on Saturdays? But how do you figure out these patterns?
Many companies use new software to see analytics about busy seasons. If you can detect a pattern, you can determine an off-season schedule that caters to potential clients. Reconfiguring your schedule means cutting down on operational costs during the off-season.
Invest in a Productive Marketing Strategy
Spending money to save money? In this case, it works! Investing in a marketing strategy means that you can juice all you can get out of your busy season.
Allot some of your budget toward targeted marketing. See what it does for your client base and profits.
Marketing strategies ideal for seasonal businesses include:
- Social media ad campaigns for fire sales
- Opening pre-order opportunities to a subscriber or email list at a discounted rate
- Partnering with influencers or other companies that are open year-round for a joint marketing campaign
The Bottom Line
Companies that are popular seasonally aren’t doomed to repeat a cycle of lost profits. There are tons of ways to cut operational costs, optimise resources, and make the busy season even busier. Try out some of these tips to help boost your company profits. This way, emergencies or retirement are accessible, affordable, and ready for you.
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