If you own a small business and it stops generating sales for several weeks in a row, what are you going to do about it? This is a question a lot of small business owners find very difficult to answer, particularly those that operate in seasonal industries such as food, hospitality and retail.
Agreed, every business has its ups and downs; there are good months and bad months. However, some of the businesses in the food, hospitality and retail industries tend to rely solely on the good months to fund their operations for the full year.
Many small business owners find it very difficult to figure out how to meet the challenges of a seasonal sales cycle. If you own a small business in such criteria, you already know it’s not easy managing a business with seasonal sales.
Here are 3 tips that can help you:
Make use of Seasonal or Part-time Employees
Letting go of a productive employee is not an easy decision. However, this is necessary sometimes in order to keep the business going. This is particularly true with seasonal businesses like niche clothing shops and some beachfront restaurants that cater for specific seasons.
If you hire a big staff as a result of the increased work that comes with the good months, you need to remember that it’s not a good idea to keep such a large team when things start to slow down. So, it’s much better to hire part-time employees to get you through the busy months. This way, you don’t have to worry about spending too much on employee salaries when business is slow.
Shorten Your Opening Hours
Consider shortening your business operation hours during the slow months. There is no need to keep the business open at a time when you know that you’ll hardly get any customer. So, it’s better stay open for only a few hours as necessary or close the shop altogether during slow periods.
Why’s that? Well, you’re paying for electricity, gas, and salaries of employees every day you stay open. Why incur all these costs when there are no in-coming customers to offset them? There is no special way of knowing when to stay open and when not to. You have to experiment with a few schedule variations to find out what works for you and your customers.
Look for Additional Streams of Revenue
If your business is customer-driven and you don’t receive customers in particular periods, you may have to consider other revenue sources. As an example, a restaurant that depends heavily on the tourist season for new customers could expand into catering while still catering for tourist customers during the busy seasons.
It’s a challenge for many small businesses to be able to predict future revenues, especially those in seasonal industries. If you’re a small business owner and you operate on a seasonal basis, implementing some or all of the above tips will go a long way in sustaining your business long term.
If you are looking to sustain your business through a quite period and need extra funds to do it, talk to Unsecured Finance Australia about how we can help you meet your business finance needs.