Keeping a business afloat is a challenge regardless of the product or service you offer, but seasonal businesses face unique obstacles. If you sell a service or product that’s a significant money maker only during certain months of the year, you’re likely left scrambling to deal with a drastic dip that occurs in the off-season. With a variety of factors to consider and challenges to face, seasonal business owners can only hope to profit with airtight year-round strategies. Follow these steps to expand profits and make your seasonal business an evergreen success.
Take a Look at Your Business Assets
Seasonal business typically rely on one of two strategies:
- Run for a certain portion of the year, then shut down the business during the off-season
- Seek another way to create a revenue stream with their product or service during the off-season
To determine which route is best-suited to your business, you’ll need to take a look at your assets. A detailed review will indicate several important things. The first: whether you have enough capital to expand your business to year-round offerings. The second: how much you should be saving to handle the off-season. The third: Whether it’s time for your business to reduce variable costs.
With a detailed assets list, you’ll be better prepared to forecast future profitability, and all of the abovementioned information combined will help you anticipate potential gains and losses. Make it a monthly priority to check your assets and stay on top of your company needs.
Diversify Your Product Line
Expanding your offerings may help your business draw in consumers throughout the year. Consider Tipsy Elves. Once a holiday-based business that sold only ugly Christmas sweaters for men and women, this apparel juggernaut has now expanded its product line to include other holiday-specific items. From 4th of July swimsuits to Hanukah apparel, Tipsy Elves now offers a range of items that helps them stay profitable all year long. Diversifying their offerings transformed their business from a December-only money maker to a year-round success. Take the best parts of your original product and expand them to suit other times of year. Experiment with various offerings—but be sure to avoid alienating your original consumer base.
Expand Brand Awareness
No matter how prolific your brand, there’s likely a market you haven’t tapped yet. Expanding your reach with strategic marketing campaigns can help you increase profitability and improve year-round profits. Modern businesses have a variety of ways to expand their target audience, and one of the most effective comes in the form of partnerships.
Select another seasonal company that may be able to join you in a mutually beneficial relationship. Look for a brand who:
- Experiences peak traffic during a different time of year
- Caters to a similar audience
By joining forces with a company that meets the above criteria, you can expand your reach and increase visibility during your off-season. From shirt distribution to social media campaigns, sit down with your new partner and consider the tactics you can both use to boost the other.
Make the Most Out of the Off-Season
If the production of your service or product requires maintenance, using the off-season to replenish inventory and take care of any equipment that needs servicing. Use these slower months to a detailed look at your finances, and draw up a plan for future business. This is also the time for reflection. Were there issues last season that can be ironed out for the upcoming rush? Perhaps you’ve neglected your tax organization requirements. While the off-season may not be your most profitable, there’s no reason it can’t be your most productive.
Maintaining a seasonal business is a daunting challenge, but those up to the task can utilize the aforementioned strategies to increase profitability.