Keeping a company afloat in challenging economic times is difficult enough, but for small businesses where the selling period is a specific time or season of the year, it can be even trickier. Generating profit every month or quarter is essential for your business’s survival.
Recording cash inflows and expenses in your bookkeeping software will help keep track of your finances, but if you really want to gain a financial stronghold for your company, you will have to increase year-round earning potential. Here are some strategies that can help you turn off-seasons into celebration times:
Diversify your offerings
Remember those Diwali cracker stores that pop up just in time for the festivals? Set amidst empty storefronts, their businesses flourish with hoards of customers pouring in. But within a month, once the festivities are over, the stores disappear and empty stalls are laid bare. As fitting examples of seasonal business, these stores are a lesson on how businesses, who survive only on cyclical revenue, must generate year-round profit, if they want to stay open.
For example, if you design wedding invites you may experience a slack season once the wedding season is over. To optimise earnings through the year, you can diversify into designing birthday invites, baby shower announcements or corporate event invites. Similarly, a Christmas store that does most of its business in the last few months of the year can refresh its product line by offering items for other festivals or events.
Promote your season, in the off season
Diversification, doesn’t mean that you move away from what is your primary revenue generating product or service. In the off season, it is crucial to keep your products or services visible to potential customers.
Customers using your product or service must be aware what your core competency is. For example, when you meet with clients who have come to get baby announcements done, mention that you are experienced in wedding card design and show them work samples. Instead of referring to yourself as a wedding card designer, maybe you can say you’re a design company that specialises in wedding cards. This might also lead to clients recommend your work to others.
Find the money in other ways
Can you freelance as a design consultant for a firm? Or teach at a local design college? Maybe liaison with an event management company and oversee their event invites designing? Sometimes the best way to grow is find new revenue sources or growth areas.
Using your experience to start consulting is one such avenue. You don’t need to be limited to the same field as your business offering, you can try your hand at something you wouldn’t typically do. You can also capitalise on skills that don’t usually get tapped in your business. For example, you could be a patient teacher. Leverage that skill with your business experience and maybe you could teach art classes from home.
In conclusion Seasonal business can be quite a challenge. Beating this challenge of inconsistent revenue requires some creativity and perseverance. Do whatever it takes, be it offering new services, clever marketing or taking up a new personal venture to reduce the effects of seasonal cyclicality and boosting your revenues. Most importantly, don’t give up!