Every small-business owner knows that there is a certain time of the year where they have a seasonal slowdown. It usually happens during the busy holiday months. People are less likely to spend as they either are all out of money or prioritise other things during that time of year. But it is different when you actually experience it, and often times it is out of your control. For example many industries including hotels and resorts may see large sales in the summer, but then see hardly no one in the winter. There are secrets to managing the consumer cycle, and the following are five tips small businesses can survive the slower months.
Stay on top of your finances
As a small business owner you may have a million other things that need to get done. But staying on top of your finances is an important one, especially during the slow season. With a lack of incoming money it might be a good idea to get into the habit of restricting some expenses. Especially on things that are non-essential for your business. This doesn’t have to mean cutting expenses but it does mean spending smarter. Cutting the office snacks could be a way of saving money. But if things really get tough or unexpected opportunities arrive it may be a good idea to seek outside small business financing. It is easier to pay back your lenders then it is to get profitable opportunities back.
Respect the seasons
When things are looking up, it is easy to see the future and plan for it. However being positive doesn’t mean being naive. You should talk with experienced professionals in your industry about how to handle slow months. If they are willing to talk ask them how they prepare. Take their suggestions and devise your own strategies and goals unique to your business. This will hopefully make it easier to survive the seasonal slump.
Create a yearly plan
Accounting for the good and bad days are equally as important. As you create your yearly budget and goals consider the seasonal change that may cause peaks and valleys in your sales revenue. It is also important to set aside enough cash to keep operations going during the slow seasons. Slower sales means more time on your hands. Take that extra free time to evaluate your business. Look at performance, plan for the future, and revisit your branding. These are thing you might not of had time to do during your busy seasons.
Don’t panic, and keep positive!
Slow seasons can be a roller coaster. Even with a plan in place there is no way to tell what will happen. It is important to keep working toward your goals. Don’t get overwhelmed by the idea of business slowing down. Just show up and work like normal, and stay focused on the bigger picture. The change of seasons is not something to worry about. Understand that you aren’t alone. Many businesses face the same struggles as you. If they can withstand it, then so can you.
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