Every community has a variety of seasonal businesses, like the snow cone truck that generates big crowds each summer, lawn maintenance companies and road paving companies, ski resorts, or the crews who shovel driveways in the winter months. Seasonal businesses provide meaningful income for a great many entrepreneurs. This kind of work, while potentially profitable, presents unique challenges. While they’re not insurmountable, aspiring entrepreneurs should be aware of them and consider a few small business tips before they begin a seasonal venture:
What is a Seasonal Business?
A seasonal business is any business that can only operate during a specific time each year, either because their services are only possible at certain times (as with skiing or rafting tours) or because there’s little to no demand for parts of the year (as with lawn maintenance or shops that sell seasonal outdoor gear).
Tips for Managing a Seasonal Small Business
If you’re new to this kind of work, or you’re just considering opening a seasonal business, it’s wise to keep a few tips in mind before you begin.
- It’s competitive, so be prepared to shift gears. When the climate is right, seasonal businesses kick into high gear. Your best bet is to begin making your potential clients aware of your services before they need them. If your business depends on a particular weather event, you need to be ready to go as soon as the weather shifts in your favor. Otherwise, you’re missing out on potential business days.
- Track your assets through the offseason. Your off-season is the perfect time to get your house in order by tracking your fixed assets and inventory, including tools you use, products you sell, or facilities you occupy. You’ll want to know exactly what you had at the close of last season so that you’re not misplacing and losing things during the off-season. If you use equipment in your seasonal work, your off-period is the perfect time to have it inspected and serviced, so it’s in good working order when your business kicks into high gear again.
- Consider your business model. Conventional business models assume that you’ll be open about 52 weeks every year. Make sure that you’re accounting for your downtime in your cash flow. If you devote yourself to this business alone, be prepared to put in the extra work in your busy season. You’ll need the income boost to make it through your off-season. Otherwise, you’ll need a job that lets you work for just part of the year.
- Find income opportunities for the off-season. Consider leasing your equipment to other companies that might find it useful during your off-season. Just make sure to track the items you lease. Again, this is where an asset tracking system can be a life-saver. If you’re leasing out equipment to multiple parties, you need a means to determine at a moment’s notice where each item is, the identity of the person who has it, its condition and when it will be returned.
One of the best insurance policies you can take for your seasonal business is a powerful, yet flexible and easy to use asset tracking system – one that gives you mobile access, so your asset data is at your fingertips 24/7. With Asset Panda, the entire lifecycle of each one of your vital assets is as near as your smartphone. Track your assets any way you want through our completely customizable platform. It’s a seasonal business owner’s best friend. To learn more or to begin your free 14-day trial, visit assetpanda.com
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