summer.jpgWhether it’s a party tent rental company or an ice cream shop, you’re going to need seasonal employees and a way to manage your business sustainably. Between the training and the tough off-season, here’s some tips to make that process much smoother:

Maintaining a seasonal workforce. I know what you’re thinking, “maintaining a seasonal workforce” is like saying jumbo shrimp- it’s an oxymoron. Yes, indeed you can’t necessarily “maintain” employees year-round for a seasonal business, but you can get them to return year after year. A common problem with seasonal businesses is the seasonal training that goes along with it. With constant training and under experienced new employees each year, you may be losing productivity, efficiency and, in the end, money.

Rather than hiring new employees, find ways to incentivize last year’s to return back to your small business. There are ways to incentivize these employees without losing profits. The first of these is to offer small raises every year they return. Although you may be thinking that this could cost your business more money than it is worth, the increased efficiency with an experienced worker can be one of your best tools. Another way to provide incentives to seasonal workers is to allow them to choose more flexible hours. If your seasonal employees don’t work every day of the week that you’re open, allow the more experienced employees to get first choice on what days to work. After all, a happy employee is a returning employee, and keeping your employees satisfied can be just as important as keeping your customers satisfied.

Utilizing the off-season. The off-season is a crucial time to either make additional revenue, if needed, or to prepare your product when the peak season comes around. If your business could benefit from additional revenue in the off-season, think of ways in which you can convert your seasonal business to a year-round business. Often times, a landscape service in the summer will convert to snow removal in the winter. Similarly, deck-building businesses will convert to interior projects in the off-season. Be creative and try doing the same with your seasonal business.

Another great use of time in the off-season is to preparing whatever product you will be selling and to do maintenance on your system. As simple as this tip is, people often forget that summer can be a perfect time to make snowboards, and winter a perfect time for skim boards.

Seasonal business loans. Whether it’s to pay for the maintenance on your plow truck or for materials for whatever it is your small business sells, a seasonal loan can be perfect for you. With short-term financing options, seasonal business loans and cash advances can be an easy way to get your business prepared to start selling!

Keeping in touch. One of the best ways to stay in touch and get people thinking about your business is social media. Staying in touch on social media comes in a variety of ways. Try posting exclusive offers and coupons for when the peak season does eventually come around. Another way to stay in touch is to ask for reviews and testimonials so you can continue to improve. There’s no easier way to build the hype around the return of your seasonal business than throwing out a tweet or two to remind people, so go ahead and give it a try!

Starting a seasonal business can be challenging, but keeping these tips in mind, you can keep your seasonal business stirring up buzz all year round. A seasonal business can take year-round attention, so continue to build your client base and keep your customers happy whenever you can!

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