For a few months out of the year, seasonal businesses like Christmas tree farms and pool cleaning services thrive. But it can be incredibly stressful for these small seasonal business owners to make this cash flow last throughout the entire year. With limited income during off-season months, seasonal business owners are forced to lay off workers, put their marketing on hold, and often lose contact with customers.
If seasonal small businesses are going to thrive year round, they need to implement changes in the way they do business.
Rebranding Your Seasonal Business
One of the major problems with seasonal businesses is that their brand identity is linked to a specific part of the year. It takes a lot of creative thinking to rebrand a small business so its identity corresponds with all seasons. At Cleveland.com, there is a great article about Great Lakes Popcorn and how they went from selling popcorn in Ottawa during the summer tourist season to a year-round success. The secret was in their innovative idea to market their popcorn as holiday gift baskets. They left free samples of their popcorn at office buildings and soon December became a booming for business. They also started to offer their popcorn as part of fundraisers to sustain the rest of the year.
According to business strategist Jeremy Gregg in an article for Fox Business, “You need to understand why they come to your store during one season and look for ways that same pattern of behavior drives their purchase process in other seasons. For example, transition your business from just focusing on ski apparel to focusing on adventure apparel.”
For businesses like Halloween costume stores, this could mean expanding to parties in general – like supplying costumes for Mardi gras. A landscaping business could offer Christmas light hanging in winter. A smoothie stand could switch to hot chocolate in winter. For other small seasonal businesses as Vietnam tourist visa though, it isn’t always enough to just tap into customer behaviors. Many times, the seasonal businesses must completely change what they offer to meet customers’ year-long needs.
Adapting Your Small Business Based on the Seasons
Some small seasonal businesses simply aren’t going to work well all year round – like a summer camp or Christmas tree farm. No matter how hard you market or adjust your tactics, few people are probably going to buy a Christmas tree during offseason and it won’t be easy to get kids to camp when they should be at school. But that doesn’t mean these business owners have to completely stop working during the off season.
But both of these seasonal businesses have a very valuable resource: land. A Christmas tree farm could be turned into an ecology camp, a playground, or a Halloween spooky maze. The summer camp could be turned into an exquisite location for weddings or corporate events. To adapt seasonal businesses into year-round enterprises, business owners need to take a look at what resources they have available and find innovative ways to use them.