Every business has certain times of year that are busier than others. But when your “busy time” is your ONLY time, you’re a seasonal business.
For some business owners, “seasonal” is perfect. You work really hard for a specific period of time and then enjoy some downtime. But other owners would really prefer 12 months of business and cash flow.
If you fit into the latter category, listen up: there ARE ways you can turn your seasonal business into a year-round money maker. It starts with these three tips.
What exactly DO your business financials look like? Seasonal business or not, it’s essential to know your earning and spending patterns so you identify the ebbs and flows. One of the best ways to do this is with an app or other tool that gives you an always-on snapshot. For me, that’s Quickbooks, but it is not the best accounting tool for every small business. We discussed this in a recent Forever Forward as well as which apps and online tools are the best for various types of businesses. You can read more and watch the video here.
If you’re serious about going year-round, consider whether you can adapt your core business to another season. For example, snow removal businesses often switch to landscaping in the summer and vice versa. Similarly, a handmade holiday-sock business could switch to corporate-branded socks during the rest of the year. A business that conducts tours for the area’s summer tourists may be able to expand its business year-round by publishing books on the area or even working with corporations for events and retreats. And don’t forget subscription services! Could you create a handmade sock-of-the-month club?
Partnering doesn’t have to mean giving up a portion of your business to additional owners. In this case, I’m talking about creative alliances. What other businesses could you team up with? For example, the holiday sock maker could work with a wedding planner to offer commemorative groomsmen socks as part of a bigger wedding package. An HVAC servicing company could bundle services with a house-cleaning business to create a move-in special for new homeowners. The trick here is to consider how your product or service could benefit another business or their customers. We took a Deep Dive into the subject recently. Watch the video here.
If you’re serious about turning your seasonal small business into an all-year venture, one of the best places to start is by brainstorming with other business owners.
If you’re a member of Entrepreneurs Forever, bring the topic up in your peer group. You’ll get a fresh perspective on what’s needed in your market and may also secure a few leads for creative partnerships, too.
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