Most businesses have busy periods and down times throughout the year, but for seasonal businesses, those periods are even more pronounced. As an owner of a seasonal business, you know all too well how the quiet of winter can quickly ramp up to a flurry of activity as your busy season draws near. With the weather getting warmer and landscapers, ice cream shops, mini golf courses and similar businesses going back to work, the following tips from PayAnywhere will help make the transition from off season to ON, seamless and profitable:
Use your off season to plan for your peak season: You will likely need new supplies for your peak season, ordering them in the off season will ensure they arrive in time for the start of your season. The off season is also the perfect time to review and examine what works for your business and what doesn’t. Additionally, it presents a good opportunity to look at suppliers and vendors, and decide if you want to keep working with the same people and companies, or make some changes. If the suppliers and vendors are not giving you good value, it may be time to research other companies.
Stay engaged with your customers: Just because you are not open, doesn’t mean you can forget about your customers. Being visible to, and engaged with, your customers is a year round job. Use social media, keep up with email blasts, send updates, post photos and videos, anything that will keep your page in your customers’ social network timelines. Also, consider your other marketing efforts, looking at what worked in seasons past and what didn’t. Deciding on how you want to proceed before you open your doors for the season will help maximize sales when you do.
Begin the hiring process: If you have summer positions available, consider working with your local high school or college to help get the word out – young people are often looking for temporary summer jobs. But don’t discount older people – retirees can be excellent seasonal employees, too. While they may not be able to handle the physical demands of a landscape company, they might be an ideal fit for less physically-demanding work. This article from ADP.com has some excellent tips to consider when looking to hire seasonal employees of any age.
Consider accepting credit cards: If you don’t already accept credit cards, deciding to do so can boost your bottom line. Not only can accepting credit cards increase your sales, it can also help lower your costs, enable you to provide better customer service and enhance the image of your business. It’s also a convenience for both you and your customers. As a payment processor, North American Bancard has solutions that will allow you to get the most out of your business, like our PayAnywhere POS solution that not only accepts credit cards, but also Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay and other NFC contactless payments, plus it is EMV ready. PayAnywhere is available in both a mobile and standalone (Storefront) version, so whether you are on the go or have a brick and mortar location, PayAnywhere has a solution for you.
Spruce up: After being closed down for several months, there is likely to be some clean up involved. This pre-season time is perfect for making sure all equipment is clean and in working order, and that any painting/repairs to physical space are made, so when your doors open for the season, you are putting your best foot forward. For brick and mortar locations, you may want to plant some flowers and trim the trees and you should also make sure your parking lot is smooth and pothole-free. If you are hiring seasonal employees, you may want to consider having a couple of them start early so they can help you with the cleaning and maintenance.
Planning for the continued success of your seasonal business doesn’t have to be a difficult process, especially if you carefully plan your off season steps and follow them accordingly. Utilizing the above steps and customizing them to fit your unique situation, will put you on the path to prosperity and a successful summer season.