Due to the nature of their work, some businesses are more popular during certain seasons. For example, ice cream van businesses are more popular in the summer, whilst snow removal companies get more business in winter. When launching one of these companies, it’s important to find a way of financially surviving during the off season – whilst you may have no shortage of work during peak season, the rest of the year could be a struggle if you’re not prepared. Here are just a few ways in which you can financially survive all year round as a seasonal business.
Keep some funds saved up
Some businesses are able to make such huge amounts of money during peak season that they’re able to live off these earnings for the rest of the year. This is not the most ideal way of attempting to survive the off-season, however it is possible. This involves budgeting ahead and putting enough money aside to live comfortably off whilst ensuring that you’re making enough.
Find another source of income
For many business owners, the solution to surviving the off-season is to find another source of income. This could be a passive income such as building up a stocks portfolio and living off the returns or investing in property and renting it out to tenants. Alternatively, you could get an entirely new full-time job for the off-season or even sell an entirely new product/service. This new product/service could be related to your business and suitable for the off-season. For example, some heating repair technicians branch out into air conditioning repair so that they’ve got work for the summer, whilst ski resorts may try to attract mountain bikers during these months.
Scale back expenses in the off season
Another option could be to scale back expenses in the off season – by spending less, you could be left with relatively the same disposable income. This could involve using temporary staff during peak season, so that you’ve got less staff in the off-season, as well as possibly ordering in less inventory in the off season to meet the lower demand.
Consider out-of-season sales
For attracting customers in the off season, you may be able to offer discounts and other promotions. This is something retailers often do with seasonal clothing to help sell what’s left in stock. Similarly, an insulation installation company may offer cheaper rates in summer.
Allow people to pay in advance
You may also be able to get some money coming in during the slower months by allowing customers to pay in advance. Whilst you can’t really do this with small purchases, it’s suitable for bigger purchases such as seasonal vacations or seasonal home improvements – allowing customers to pay in installments beforehand can make a big cost more affordable, helping to attract customers. To ensure customers pay these instalments on time, you may want to encourage customers to lay down a deposit first, which they lose if the rest isn’t paid up.