Running a business of any kind is always a big challenge, but things are even more difficult if you run a seasonal business. There are a lot of businesses, like hospitality companies or sports equipment retailers, for example, that do most of their trade in a few months and then don’t get much business for the rest of the year. It’s tough to stay afloat during the slow periods and many seasonal businesses struggle to survive. However, with a bit of careful planning, you can make sure that your seasonal business thrives all year around. If you run a seasonal business, follow these important tips to help you make it a success.
Plan your finances carefully
Financial planning is vital in business and if you cannot manage your money well, you don’t have much chance of success. In a seasonal business, good financial planning is even more important because you are only generating revenue for a short period each year. The rest of the year, when you are not bringing in much revenue at all, is tough to survive. It’s important that you account for the slow period and ensure that you are putting money aside each month so when the sales dry up, you can still afford to cover all of your overheads.
Use temporary staff
If you hire full-time staff during the busy period, you will be stuck paying people that you can’t afford to keep on during the slow periods. Depending on where your business is located, you may be able to get rid of them, but that is going to cause difficulties for the employees and they are not likely to work for you again in the future. It’s far better to use a recruitment company, like DSC Personnel, who can supply temporary staff during the busy periods, so you have enough staff when you need them, but you are not tied into a contract during the slow period. They know that the contract is temporary, so you are not letting people down when you have to let them go.
Outsource certain areas
Using temporary staff is a great way to make sure that you are not paying for people that you don’t need. However, you should also make use of outsourcing in certain areas. For example, you may need a lot of IT support during the busy periods, but not during the slow period. If you hire a fully staffed IT team, you will be paying salaries for people that you don’t need for half the year. However, if you outsource and pay for services as and when you need them, you can save a lot of money and still get the coverage that you need.
Find alternative sources of income
The best way to take the pressure off and manage your finances during the slow period is to find alternative sources of income. It’s a good idea to think about designing alternative versions of your products that you can use all year around. Alternatively, you should think about some investments, so you can earn passive income separate from the business and use that extra money to make ends meet if you need to.
Running a seasonal business is always going to be tough, but if you follow these simple tips, you can make sure that you survive the slow periods.