How to Help Your Seasonal Business Wind Down for Fall
If your seasonal business is getting ready to wind down for the fall, here a few tips to help keep your cash flow steady.
Even though it may not feel like it, fall is right around the corner. This is one of the most drastic seasonal shifts, and not just because of the weather. The beginning of autumn signifies a return to routine; families prepare to go back to school and summer vacations come to an end for many.
For businesses that rely on the summer crowds for the majority of their yearly profits - like ice cream shops, restaurants and tourist attractions - it also signifies a shift in their sales cycle. If your seasonal business is getting ready to wind down for the fall, here a few tips to help keep your cash flow steady:
Go with the consumer flow
Memorial Day is widely considered to be the end-of-summer rush for businesses and tourist destinations alike. However, that doesn't always mean that you should adopt different hours or begin closing up shop after the long weekend. You never know what the next week may bring, and a warmer beginning to fall may mean more customers than usual.
It's always best to be prepared with enough inventory and staff to serve customers. If possible, try to be flexible about when you change your business over to a fall schedule so you can be prepared for anything the transition period may bring.
Restaurants that rely on tourists may experience a decline in business during autumn.
Sell off extra inventory
Of course, being flexible doesn't mean purchasing lots of extra inventory before the season ends. In fact, Business 2 Community contributor Robert Gloer recommends using promotions to entice customers to purchase products that may not last until winter. This is especially true for companies in the food service industry - they may want to run special offers on seasonal produce or desserts like ice cream to ensure it's not wasted.
During the slower months, this strategy is still helpful for getting customers in the door. Sales and promotions can help boost revenue, and even events like raffles or classes can help small businesses connect with their local communities during these times.
Manage your cash flow
Slower months may feel like the perfect time to begin investing in your business and undergoing renovations. However, it's important to ensure you will have enough cash to do so and be able to open up when spring comes around. USA Today recommends that seasonal businesses should plan on saving a percentage of their summer cash to make it through the slow season and begin discussing financing options with their bankers.
This doesn't just mean setting aside money in the bank. Your local financial institution can help your business establish a line of credit and build a solid credit score for future investments. This can provide your business with much needed financing during the fall and winter when cash flow is restricted.
Vectra Bank offers treasury management services and business lines of credit* to help companies manage their cash flow. Whether you own a small store that relies on summer tourism or are simply experiencing a decline in sales, Vectra Bank is here to help.
Contact your local banking representative for more information on treasury management.
*Credit approval required. Terms, conditions and restrictions apply. See banker for details.