Are we as much of a seasonal business as we think?
Summer can be a peak time for a seasonal business. Many small businesses are seasonal businesses, or at the very least, have seasonal peaks. The question we all need to ask ourselves is. “Are we as seasonal as we think?”
Here are some helpful ways to find out if you are a seasonal small business.
- Check Google Trends for your category & your market
- Do an example using Google Trends and Lawn Care & Pittsburgh (or moving companies & pick geography)
Why are we are seasonal business?
Next we need to understand a few very important questions: “Why are you a seasonal business?” And “Can you make yourself a less seasonal business?” – Here is some additional helpful information to uncover some of the reasons why you are a seasonal business.
Key things to consider to make you a less seasonal business
A lot of times we overlook the obvious, but we need to really think about and revisit the following:
- What are the skills that you offer in your service/product?
- How might they be useful in the off-season? How can this help me develop alternate income sources?
Example: Lawn care to winterizing to snow removal
What skills does a lawn care business have: knowledge of grass and landscaping, labor, tools – riding lawn mower, shovels, etc.
How can these be useful in the off-season:
- Knowledge of landscaping and lawn care could be useful in helping people winterize for a better spring lawn next year
- Tools like a riding lawn mower might easily be adapted for a snow blower
- Shovels & labor could also be useful in snow removal and deicing.Tips Maximize In-Season Value
There is a great blog post on ways to maximizing your seasonal business that goes into more detail, but we capture the key themes below.
- Build your database – leverage in off-season to stay top of mind
- Time to build up your reviews – max customers = max potential for reviews
- User created content – max customers = max experiences. Why they love you? Why the keep coming back? Etc.
- Smart financial management
- Plan for the downtime
- Stick to your budget – don’t over spend
- Build a cash reserve
Tips to Maximize Off-Season Investments
Citizens Bank has a great page on managing seasonal business cash flow: Cash-Flow Tips for Seasonal Businesses | Citizens Bank. We capture the key themes below.(good source: )
- Now is the time to plan
- Reduce scale
- Offer discounts
- Stay connected socially
- Housekeeping – planned maintenance, mental housekeeping (vacation)
- Explore other verticals or niches where your core skills can be useful (see above)
ProStrategix can help!
First we can help you manage your seasonal business by building you a great business plan. Being prepared ahead of time with solid financials, a clear vision and definition of success, and a solid business plan that sets the tone
Second we can help prepare your best marketing strategy to optimize the management of your small business both in and out of seasonal peaks.
Finally, we can help you strategize for off-seasonal opportunities that transfer to your skills.