Best Ways To Deal With Seasonality In A Small Business
Almost all businesses have some seasonality in their year. The trick is to know how to asses the extent of your seasonality. Have a look at your annual accounts and see where the cash-flow peaks and troughs come. This allows you to see when the most revenues are coming in, be aware of when the work was done to achieve this income as well, for example, if you invoice your customers and they have 31 days to pay then the busy spell in terms of work maybe a month before the income so be sure to plan in this way.
The big question for any seasonal business is, do you keep staff on during the quiet period or do you go with short term contracts and only keep staff during the busy period on. The answer, as with most things, lies somewhere between these two extremes. Take a look at your labor requirements and decide which jobs are skilled and which are unskilled, those positions where there is a time and cost to training up staff are where you will want to consider taking the hit and in those positions where you can have someone up to speed relatively quickly you can only keep people on during the busy times.
Know When To Start Your Advertising Campaign
We need to get our planning absolutely spot on for a seasonal push, too early and you’ll waste a ton of money, and too late and you’ll miss the boat. Keep as much data as possible (within data protection laws) on your customer-base and use that to see at what point they spend and on what in the lead up to and during the busy period and promote to them on this basis.
Your size of premises needed may vary throughout the year and it’s maybe a good idea to think of temporary and top-up storage solutions during busy times such as Life Storage Houston which will give you that extra space only at the time when it is required.
What To Do In The Slow Period
If you do have a slow time then maybe it’s a good idea to think of diversifying and see if there is anything you can do that brings in income in the quiet times. If you have a delivery business then see if there is anything you can do with your vehicles when it’s quiet, could you hire them out or even offer help to charities locally to do a good thing?
Create Deals & Offers To Keep Things Going
Target different consumers during the slow period. For example, if you are a holiday tour operator your peak periods will be the summer holidays, Christmas and Easter perhaps. So during the slow periods it’s important to identify who might benefit from using your service at that those times of the year? Maybe retired people or those individuals or couples without children will be enticed by deals offering cut-price breaks out of season. You can specifically target customers such as these with social media marketing campaigns ensuring that the right people see your adverts and so not wasting any advertising budgets.