Did you stand on a long frozen-yogurt line over the July 4th weekend? If you were shopping for an Uncle Sam outfit, you were probably able to drive right up to the costume store because it only has a line in late October. Such are the vastly disparate revenues of seasonal businesses.
Regardless of whether your seasonal business has raucous summertime lines out the door, you should keep these strategies in mind to make the good times better and the lean days more profitable and manageable.
Step #1: Stay Focused While Business Is Booming
Whether you’re a chocolatier losing your mind on February 13 or an accountant enduring the first three and a half months of the year, it’s important to manage details among the chaos so you can keep those customers coming back next year.
However, don’t neglect important matters like keeping track of purchases, invoices and receipts during the rush. The IRS and regulators who require diligent and thorough recordkeeping don’t grant waivers on compliance because you’re successful at what you do. In fact, it’s all the more reason for them to call on you.
Manage their expectations by working with a trusted partner that can help establish simple records management processes to handle receipts and other important documents when your attention needs to be focused on serving your many customers. Additionally, a high sales volume can sometimes translate into storage headaches. Collaborating with a partner that has the capacity to transport and safely store overflow paperwork can keep your office or store free of unorganized clutter.
Step #2: Get Creative During the Slow Season(s)
Even the most seasonal of businesses can boost customer interest and sales during the off-season. For example, consider a giveaway. You could be running a boardwalk ice cream concession in January. But, if you’re giving out lift tickets to the nearest ski resort as part of a contest, you can have people lining up to eat ice cream cones as they gaze off at the ocean’s winter whitecaps. An offsite vendor can help keep you organized as you work through the additional paperwork that comes with your grand prize giveaway.
Selling to overseas markets is another great idea for slow periods. After all, when it’s summer in the U.S, it’s winter in Australia. A trusted partner can help manage the additional paperwork inherent in international commerce.
Step #3: Partner with an Expert
Finally, be sure that you’re ready for the next high season. There are probably outdated or unneeded documents to be discarded among the stacks of papers that accumulated while you were concentrating on making sales. Consider engaging a seasoned partner with secure shredding services to haul those files away and dispose of them in a responsible manner.
Sure, there’s only so much an ice cream store can do to boost business in the dead of winter. But by being creative when sales are slow and maintaining focus when they’re brisk, a seasonal business can stay sweet all year long.