Owning a seasonal business means placing tremendous importance on the busy season, when the majority of the year’s sales are conducted. For some industries, failing to capitalize on the busy season can endanger a business’s survival. The months leading into the busy season must be largely dedicated to ensuring a performance strong enough to attract the attention of your biggest competitors. After all, the busy season belongs to your entire industry, so customers will only give their business to you if you show them that you are a better choice than their many other options for similar products or services.
There are many strategies to maximize the likelihood of sales but you don’t have the time or budget to devote the same amount of focus to each one. Additional funding from an alternative business financing company, however, allows you to leave no stone unturned when it comes to the investments you have in mind.
Here are three ways to avoid a stagnant busy season:
1. Inventory Control
Inventory is directly related to profits but it can also cost you precious sales if you aren’t stocked with the right amounts of certain items. At least five or six months before the busy season, you should know which items are most likely to sell, how much of each item to order, and when to place you order so that your most crucial items are available at exactly the right time. Too much inventory will take up crucial space for months on end, and if you order the most predictable items, your business may very well appear to be a smaller, less-developed version of a national chain.
Discounts are usually available for buying inventory in bulk well ahead of the busy season, and the quicker you place your order, the more time you have to decide how to stock your business. Thanks to alternative business financing companies like United Capital Source, you can be approved for a loan in 24-48 hours and receive funding just a few days afterwards. Sales are usually down in the months before the busy season but with a Merchant Cash Advance, a.k.a credit card processing loan, debt is instead paid back via a percentage of fixed percentage of future credit card sales so you won’t have to make set monthly payments that could jeopardize your ability to pay rent, employees, etc.
2. Social Media
The previous paragraphs stressed the importance of knowing which items to order. If you aren’t sure what current and potential customers are most interested in, take a look at fan pages on Facebook dedicated to your industry or related businesses. It’s here where your target demographic discusses what they love and hate about your industry. Once you’ve figured out what the buzz is all about, advertise special offers or high inventoried items on these fan pages as well as your own page. Paid Facebook ads can ensure that your ads are directed towards your target demographic, whom you can strengthen your connection with by pushing content they tend to respond to.
Monitoring and responding to social media users is a daily responsibility because, according to the majority of young shoppers, the companies with the most active social media accounts are the leaders of their industries. And since social media plays such a major role in shopping decisions, there’s really no question as to whether hiring a social engagement specialist is a worthy investment. Previous research has shown that individuals are most influenced by marketing campaigns that target them several months before the busy season. Working capital loans from United Capital Source allow you to cover regular expenses and day-to-day operations during the slow season while paying for advertising and your new hires, which brings us to the final section of this list.
3. Hire The Right Employees For Critical Positions
The busy season becomes infinitely less stressful with the addition of new hires who are well-trained in customer service. Such employees, however, might not necessarily be the most experience or qualified candidates. Far too often does a business hire a new employee with an impressive background only to find out that he or she doesn’t have the attitude or personality that meshes well with the rest of the team. It takes much longer to train the right attitude than the basic skills required for the job.
You won’t find the employees you need right away and when you finally do, you’ll have to reserve at least a few weeks to train and prepare them for the upcoming influx in business. United Capital Source offers business funding programs tailored specifically for this exact situation. Operations will likely slow down while you are focused on finding and training new hires but short-term small business funding will offset the dip in revenue. By the time the busy season rolls around, your new hires will be familiar with your products or services and deliver an ROI that reminds you why you chose them in the first place.
Getting Your Priorities Straight
These responsibilities are undoubtedly overwhelming but the funding experts at United Capital Source are here to guide you every set of the way. We will ensure that you not only have enough funding to capitalize on the busy season but also remain financially stable for the months that follow. Rather than just making money, our number one goal at UCS is seeing our clients’ businesses grow to unprecedented heights, and we are well-aware that the best opportunity to make this happen is the busy season. If you have an idea of how to get customers to choose your business at this time, let UCS show you that no business is too small to have a big impact.