Operating a seasonal business can be exhilarating! Think of the excitement generated during times like fall harvests or holiday treats and decorations. It’s when business owners experience an abundance of sales. But as the season passes, sales slow down and there is often a dramatic decline in income. Here are a few ways to plan for those slow times, so that you can avoid financial struggles. 

Diversify Your Services

One way to offset the decline in sales is to offer complimentary sales during your slow season. For example, if you sell holiday gift baskets in December, consider creating customized packages for other popular recognized special occasions such as Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. In addition, offer your products to corporate event planners who are looking for treats and gifts all year long. 

Price Your Products Accordingly

We’ve all experienced what it’s like to pay extra for things like cottage rentals during summer months. This is based on supply and demand. The more demand, the more customers would be willing to pay. The surplus can be put into a separate account for times when you must charge less, off-season. 

Hire Temporary Workers

One of the biggest expenses for businesses is employee wages. When times are busy, many hands are needed, but it becomes difficult to pay employees when sales decline. A popular solution is to hire workers for a fixed term. For example, bring on students to help during summer months, with the understanding that their employment contract will end in September. 

Rent Space As-Needed

In recent years, consumers may have noticed a trend towards pop-up shops. These are temporary retail spaces where they can sell their products for a short period of time, and not worry about paying rent for the remainder of the year. The added benefit of temporary retail space is that it frees up business owners to pursue other ventures after their busy season has passed. This is a great idea for students, or even those wanting to test the demand of a new product. 

If you’re ready to take the next step, book a meeting with an experienced Business Advisor at Small Business Centres Ontario. We have 54 offices across Ontario.  Working with a Business Advisor means you are not alone and that you can get help to build your plan.  Find a location near you.

Want to learn more about effective operations? Check out our free online course, “Key Business Practices”.