by Samuel Gitukui
Every entrepreneur will at some point have to deal with seasonal fluctuations. The key for a thriving business is having a contingency plan for when the demand goes down. Of course, no one can predict the future but knowing what to do during off seasons means that your business will continue to operate well above its costs. Let’s take a look at some tips to help keep your business thriving regardless of the seasonal change.
1. Be Aware of the Business Cycles in Your Industry
A new business that is being managed the right way can experience a rapid increase in sales. However, this can easily hide the reality of seasonal fluctuations. Plans should be made with reference on data from the last two or three years.
If, however the enterprise hasn’t been around that long, you can use data from other businesses that are much older than yours.
2. Plan Ahead
Nothing beats making plans. After you have internalized the business cycle, make plans for the next 6 months at least. Keep everything under record. When the sales are high, consider keeping some money in reserve to cater for the slow periods. This will ensure you are well cushioned in case of any dips in sales.
3. Don’t Rely on a Single Source of Income
While this might suggest you need to start an alternative business, it wouldn’t hurt. The income from it will help cushion you from the low seasons. Just remember to still focus on your core business and provide just the right attention and resources it needs to be successful.
4. Keep Note of Your Competitors
Marketing your business is crucial and will help draw in more customers. One excellent strategy is to take advantage of when your competitors are silent. Clients will notice you better and get interested.
5. Stay Ahead of the Game
By this we mean that you should be creative. As much as it is a good strategy to promote your products when your competitors have slowed down on their campaigns, you should also maintain your presence in the minds of the customers throughout the year regardless of the seasonal fluctuations.
Try and find a creative way to spark their interests that stands out from your competitors. This will keep the clients rolling in.
6. Let Your Employees Know
Sometimes seasonal fluctuations mean that the business simply cannot avoid letting go of employees. Make sure that the employees are aware of this possibility as well as the relevant terms of employment.
By making everything clear, you will avoid resentment when you have to relieve some of your employees. When the sales increase, they will be willing to work for you again.
7. Get a Funding Partner
Building relationships with partners in the same industry will provide you with a reliable back up plan in case things go awry. You may need expert advice, more finance or more employees.
The right funder should have experience in the same industry and should be in a position to help you anticipate challenges and find solutions to them.
Seasonality is a factor that cannot be avoided. By including it in your business plans, you will always know what to during times of slow business.