How to Overcome Seasonal Fluctuationsby Emma L. Business consultant
While in some industries, seasonal fluctuations are drastic, there are really no industries in which this thing doesn’t happen at least to a degree. In theory, this shouldn’t be that big of a deal, however, in order for your business to properly grow, you need to have both reliability and predictability on your side. Fluctuations, on the other hand, defy both of these trends.
Also, while you might not be able to make your income equal throughout the year, you also need to understand that you can breach this difference in order to minimize the difference between the more successful and less successful parts of the year. With that in mind and without further ado, here are several tips on how to overcome seasonal fluctuations.
Prepare for peak times
Just because you don’t have that many sales or requests during the “slower” part of the year, this doesn’t mean that you can afford to be idle. Namely, your business will still need a lot of maintenance and upkeep and you can spend this “downtime” to innovate, expand and prepare for peak times. For instance, if you have a business that produces Christmas decorations, you can use late summer and early autumn in order to ensure your capacity can stand the demand that comes with the holiday season. If you plan to innovate, this is the time to do so.
Diversify your business
Another thing you need to consider is providing an alternative product/service during the offseason. Think about it, there might be a reason why your goods are in such a great demand during a specific season. Why not include something else in order to cover the rest of the year as well? Sure, the first idea might be your original business plan for a reason and, as such, the most profitable. Nonetheless, during the rest of the year, you could, at least, diversify your business in order to ensure that you’re not doing business at a loss. Sometimes, including a new product is not enough and what you need to do is try to cover another industry.
Improve your cash flow
The next thing you should work on is your cash flow. During the downtime, you might have trouble running your day-to-day operations, yet, there are several ways to handle this situation. First, you can make an emergency fund that you can call upon whenever your business starts underperforming. Second, you can opt for a model that relies on credit payments. This way, even though you made a sale in the holiday season, the money from this particular sale will keep arriving for months and months to come. If the going gets tough, you can sell some of these invoices or even look for platforms like Cigno Business Solutions and apply for a business loan.
Make a flexible business system
Another thing you could try is hiring a temporary workforce in the form of telecommuters, remote workers, freelancers, interns and seasonal workers. These are the people you hire during the peak season in order to help you handle the increased workload. During the rest of the year, you can keep your staff to a minimum. This may also help you by giving you a chance to lease a smaller office or even work from shared office space. All in all, this kind of business system is great, seeing as how it allows you to keep your expenses low when your income is low and raise your capacities when your income can justify it.
The last thing you need to bear in mind is the fact that, once the peak season arrives (or even when it approaches), both you and your staff will be under a lot of stress. This requires some mental preparation. Let your staff take their vacations and blow off some steam in weeks prior to the peak season. Once this moment finally arrives, you need them sharp, fresh and ready for work.
At the end of the day, while it might not be possible to keep your sales high throughout the entire year, such a thing is not necessary for success. Sometimes, lowering your expenses might create the same effect. As you could see from some of the above-listed examples, this downtime can also be used to upgrade your operations and infrastructure.
Created on Mar 25th 2019 05:26. Viewed 250 times.