With summer settling in and the new year around the corner, many businesses may be facing their slump season. Cash flow can slow down over the warmer months while people are on holiday or facing empty wallets after a Christmas blow out.
With the right planning, foresight and management, the quiet season doesn’t have to be a stressful time for your business.
Read on to discover some useful strategies that can get you through the quiet periods until business picks up.
Dealing With The Summer Quiet Period
Fine Tune Your Annual Budget
Planning ahead is everything. Instead of waiting until the quiet season is looming, take these seasonal fluctuations into account when doing your yearly budget. Put away some of the extra cash you earn during busy times to get by during the troughs.
Knowledge is power. The more information you have, the more prepared you will be. Calculate your bare minimum operating expenses every month and ensure there is enough to see you through even in times of reduced income. Also, have a look back on your financials to discover exactly when those quiet periods are.
Cut Down On Costs
Once you have figured out your essential spending, it is time to look at where you can tighten the purse strings. Perhaps you can reduce business hours or staffing, go easy on the advertising, chat to suppliers about renegotiating contracts, or cut out the complimentary office snacks for a few months.
However, try not to go overboard and downsize too much without really considering the implications for your business. Too many cutbacks could make it difficult to pick up again when the quiet period comes to an end. Talk to your accountant for advice on where you can afford to cut back and what you need to keep up.
Perfect Your Timing
Planning to survive, and even thrive during slow season requires some creative thinking and attention to timing. Before the lull arrives, put in some extra effort to sell and create revenue that will keep you afloat.
Leverage your existing clients by offering exclusive deals and promotions for them to take advantage of during those months. As the quiet season draws to an end, consider an aggressive, early marketing campaign to beat the competition and draw in new customers. Offer promos for early sign-up and emerge from the slow season with some forward momentum.
Expand Your Products And Services
Not all businesses have to experience a slow down over the summer months. Is there a way you can broaden or diversify your products and services to avoid a slump? Though it may not be appropriate for all business types, utilise some creative thinking to identify what complementary services you can introduce that will be in demand at this time of year.
Quiet season is the perfect time to get to all those things you never find time to do when it is busy. Use the time wisely to evaluate your business plan, review processes, see what is working and what needs improving, research innovations in the industry, look at your branding and marketing strategies – all those juicy things that are essential to growing your business.
You can also use the time to tidy things up from a busy year. Finish off any filing, tidy out the office and organise your desk. Get ahead on that pesky admin work and come up with an awesome plan of action for the year ahead.
If you would like to know how you can prepare for quiet seasons in your business, then get in touch with us here at Accountants Plus. We will be able to provide you with lots of great advice to get through and strengthen your business for when things pick back up again.