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Identify & Prepare: Surviving the Slow Season

Many industries have their “busy” and “slow” seasons that can wreak havoc on even the best laid out budgeting plan. The lack of cash flow can be difficult to keep your business afloat during the quieter months of the year, especially when unforeseen expenses arise. Planning ahead can make it easier to coast through the slow season until things ramp back up again.

Save When Business Is Good

If you know that you have times of the year that are less profitable, make adjustments by putting away extra money during the busy months. Each business is different and may have larger or smaller fluctuations, so tailor it to your needs. It may be putting an extra 15-30% of your profit away each month to supplement your business in the low sales periods.

Take Installments

Another way to spread your income over the year is to offer installment payments to your customers. Not only can this help you maintain a steady income throughout the year, it may bolster sales by offering payments to your customers on larger purchases. Find creative ways to offer in-housing financing or work with a financial institution to look at solutions they may offer.

End Of Season Sales

Get one last blast of cash before the slow season hits with end of season sales. Get rid of extra inventory or offer fantastic deals to stock on cash before the need for your product or service dwindles. Our Team can help you with the advertising and marketing to make the sale a success. Retail establishments have been doing this for years to get rid of excess inventory but it can be done in the service industry as well.

Slow Season Specials

Come up with innovative ideas to keep cash flow coming in. One woodstove business always had to lay off service employees during the summer months due lack of work. They came up with a way to use some co-op advertising dollars to put out direct mail flyers offering a great deal on service and pellet stock-up during July and August. The increase in business was enough to keep their service people working all summer and generate a little extra money as well.

By preparing ahead of time you can make the busy season work to your benefit. Paying ahead on supplies, scheduling vacations and other time off during slow periods and using some of the tips listed can all work to make the year go smoothly. Talk with your Virtual Assistant to discuss your specific business needs and how you can improve the balance of cash flow through out the year.

 photo credit: Jeremy Vandel

Posted on September 24th, 2012 by Rachel Braam, Office Manager

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