Many small businesses face challenges brought on by seasonality. Entrepreneur Corey Shader says the normal ebbs and flows that seasonality brings can do a number on small businesses if they’re not properly prepared.
Luckily, there are things that you can do to help your small businesses prepare for and meet these challenges. All it takes is planning and creative thinking.
Below are some ways you can help your small business meet the challenges of seasonality.
A vital component of any small business budget is a forecast. This prediction for the future will allow business owners to identify periods of time when they might experience dips in sales/cash flow and upticks in it.
This can help in two regards. First, it can help you maximize your sales when the likelihood is higher for you to make these sales. In addition, it can help you plan for when you need to put aside funds that you can draw from when cash flow is lower.
Further, an accurate forecast will help you prepare staffing levels appropriately as well as time investments such as the purchase of new equipment or software.
Have Ready Access to Funds
Even with the best forecasting, there are times when you need ready access to funds. If you don’t have enough in an emergency account, you want to be able to tap into those resources if you need them, without having to go through lengthy application processes.
A business line of credit can help in this regard. It’s a source of available credit any time you need it, with typically lower interest rates than credit cards. You’ll also only need to repay what you draw down from the line of credit, making it preferable to a lump sum loan for seasonality.
Provide Diverse Products/Services
A great way to meet the challenges of seasonality is to have a diverse line of products/services. If one product or service line dips in a certain season, this could give you an opportunity to maintain sales levels with other complementary lines of products/services.
Landscaping businesses provide a great example of this. During the summer months, they focus on cutting lawns. Spring and fall are typically focused on yard cleanup, while winter could integrate snow removal. All of these offerings are complementary to each other, yet completely different based on seasons.
Use this line of thinking to see how you could diversify your own small business offerings.
Create Special Sales
Corey Shader says a great way to drive sales during an “off-season” is to create special sales or promotions. This will help to drive people to your business at times when they otherwise might not frequent it.
Offering a certain percentage off or free gifts to go along with a purchase is a great way to keep sales levels high while also promoting other products or services you offer.
In addition, promoting special gift cards or gift vouchers is a great way to keep up sales. Giving people a free $10 gift card for every $100 in gift cards they purchase encourages them to buy now. This expands your potential customer base and provides you with cash flow when you need it most.
About Corey Shader
Corey Shader is a self-made entrepreneur, consultant, investor, real estate developer, and founder of several companies, notably Insurance Pipeline. Operating primarily out of Ft. Lauderdale, Corey’s endeavors span across the nation, consulting for start-ups, and sitting on the board of digital media and senior healthcare agencies. As a consultant, Corey helps young businesses develop sales funnels and maximize profitability. Shader takes pride in challenging others to push themselves to be their very best — he believes in constant self-improvement, inspiring others through sharing his own life experiences.