Managing a Seasonal Business – Blog for WIN

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Read my Blog post featured this month in the Women’s Inspire Network Blog.

Every business no matter what shape or size has a “time”.  Your business will experience a heightened level of attrition at some stage.  You could be a wedding business, they are busy all year round of course but more weddings tend to be in Summer.  If you have a product that has a “season” over time you understand the best times and build up to it.  A friend of mine Suzie Evans has a toy business and although people purchase off her year round she has peaks and troughs too.

‍This months post is about how you manage your seasonal business.  I want you to look at your business now and see (if you’re a Start Up) when you anticipate you’ll be busiest or if you have been running a business for a while look back at your sales and see when you were.  I know we are fast approaching the middle of the year but this exercise can happen year round!

‍With this knowledge or insight now plan how you can make the most of your “time”.  You may have to think outside the box and perhaps bounce ideas off with a friend but it’s an exercise worth doing.

‍Timeline

First you need to put down in writing when your “time” is.  It may be ahead or possibly behind you, either way note it down and then look at what steps you can take you to the next one!

Now look at what influences your timeline? A large proportion of people who follow my business as an example, are women between the ages of 30 and 55.  One segment of these women would be a parent or carer.  I know that they will be forced to take time off over the Summer to watch their family so arranging training this time of year would be inappropriate.  However when the children return to school in September, it is when a lot of these women want to either retrain or upskill so arranging a public training day for me then would be good.  So my audiences availability and time constraints would be a matter for me to consider.

‍Doing an Event

This could be going to a made-for event like an expo or a summit as an example.  Or you could create or collaborate with someone else on an event.  This could actually create a “time” for your business?  Again depending on what type of business you are it would also determine location and time of year you should do that event.  Thinking of weddings again they are kind of lucky!  Some people want a Winter OR a Summer wedding so as long as they show the right kind of stock, they can do both events.

‍Special Offers

By creating content for a special offer you can create a time as well.  Let’s say you sell Jars for Jams and Chutneys.  If you create a sale in September then people who sell these in time for Christmas will be on the lookout for such a thing.  If you do it the same time every year then you can hope to create loyalty too and a good chance that your audience will share your special offer as well.

‍All three of these need you to consider the statistics and the strategy of your business overall.  You can avail of this information from your insights in each of your social media platforms, your Google Analytics and of course from your Sales invoices.  It is using this information in a strategy that makes sense for your business first and foremost and being adaptable to changes.

‍A new regulation or new competition can also have an impact to your “time” as well.  These will both have an impact on your strategy.  The only business that doesn’t last, doesn’t adapt.  Make sure you are ahead of the curve and align your business frequently to demographic and then your business will last. To get advice on this, speak with the Local Enterprise Office and Mentors or simply speak to your peers and keep abreast of the information you need to know.

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