Do you work in hospitality, retail or food? Have you experienced seasonal slumps and do not know what to do? Here are five tips on how to handle seasonal cycles in your business.
Make hay while the sun shines
It is important that when you are in your busy season, you are well equipped to handle the demand. You need to ensure you have enough inventory and staff to deal with the demands of your customers. You need to be certain all your processes run smoothly so that there is no delay in delivery your product or service to your customer so that you can make the most sales.
Get lean during the dry months
Be careful to offer full-time contracts to all your staff. You may consider hiring part-time staff during your busy season and then letting them go when you enter your dry season. By keeping an excellent core team and supplementing them with great part-time staff you will be well on your way to succeeding in your seasonal business.
Another way is to limit your operating hours during your slow season. This may take a bit of trial and error to find which hours would be optimum but by limiting your hours you will be able to cut costs on the basic expenses and furthermore, limit the amount of food spoilage you will have. You could consider closing your physical shop and running an online shop during your off-peak season.
Diversify your product
If you are a beach front restaurant which does a roaring trade during the summer months but your sales peter off during the winter. You may consider running a catering business in your off season. This will help you to cover your minimum finances during the slow season. You could also consider offering sales on out-of-season products on your online store.
Be always present in your customer’s mind
Though you may ramp up your marketing efforts before your busy season, it would also be beneficial to keep your social media activities going during your slow season. By always being front of mind for your customers, they may be willing to purchase from you before another business.
Forecast your future and save
It is important to look back at your sales and forecast the potential sales you could make each month and plan how you will deal with any shortfalls. During the peak season, it would be beneficial to save as much as you can for your off-peak season.
By building a nest egg during the high season you will ensure that you will not have to create debt. Should you need to consider creating debt, it may be a good idea to attain a credit card to help you through the lean months. It is important though that you pay your credit card off as soon as possible to ensure you do not pay too much in interest.
By following these tips, you will be well on your way to managing your seasonal enterprise.
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