Useful Tips for Seasonal Business Owners

    Some businesses operate year-round, while some are only open for a single season. Ice cream parlors and landscaping companies are booming in the summer months, while gutter-cleaning businesses and pumpkin patches flourish in the fall.

    If you operate a seasonal business, you’re going to need to make certain preparations that a full-year business won’t have to consider. Read these tips to find out what to prepare for.

    Plan for Storage

    Once your peak season is over, you’ll have to close up shop. If you don’t have a permanent center of operations with storage, you’ll need to find a place to keep your equipment and remaining inventory until you can open up once again.

    Where Can You Find Storage?

    One option that you could turn to is a storage facility. For a monthly payment, you can keep your items inside of the locked unit until you start up your business again.

    Another option that you should consider is to buy used shipping containers and then turn them into personalized storage units. Shipping containers offer the same benefits as a storage facility, but they will be completely yours. You’re not renting that storage space. After the purchase, you own it.

    Shipping containers also have plenty of space available. They are designed to handle a lot of cargo, so your supplies should present no trouble for their dimensions. If your seasonal equipment is quite large (for example, riding lawnmowers for a landscaping business), you should be able to fit it neatly inside one of your containers.

    Pivot in the Off-Season 

    If you’re worried that you’re not making enough money, you could pivot your business to reach customers beyond your usual season.

    How Can You Pivot?

    You can open an e-commerce business when you close your brick-and-mortar store for the off-season. Ecommerce would allow you to reach customers that aren’t near your center of operations — they could even be international customers depending on the scope you’d like to reach. International locations will have different seasons, meaning your products could be exactly what customers need.

    For instance, you might sell bathing suits and beachwear in-store during the summer. Once summer is over, you can sell these products online to locals who are going on beach vacations during the off-season. You can also sell them to international customers that are currently enjoying warm, sunny beach weather.

    What else could you do to pivot in the off-season? You could modify your product lists to reach customers year-round. For instance, an ice cream shop can sell pints of ice cream through their brick-and-mortar store and other vendors to bring in a profit after summer.

    Prepare for the Drop in Cash Flow

    During your peak season, you will be raking in the profits. But once that peak season drops, so will your steady stream of income. You should prepare your business budget so that you can stretch your funds for as long as possible throughout the year. This will mean you don’t panic about your finances once the off-season begins, and you’ll have enough capital to re-open next year without trouble.

    Operating a seasonal business isn’t always easy. Follow these tips to get your business through the off-season.

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