Seasonal firms need to consider their finances
November 30, 2012
Many entrepreneurs have delved so deep into a niche market with specific services that they're only able to operate during a certain period of the year. This can happen during any season, depending on the industry - pool companies in the Northeast only operate in the late spring and early summer, while leaf raking businesses are rarely needed outside of the fall.
With the winter months upon us, many seasonal businesses are opening their doors yet again. Holiday-themed enterprises and snow-centric companies are in full operation once more, among many others. But before becoming involved with this type of business, leaders have to be aware of the consequences of running a short-term, seasonal startup.
There are certain steps these owners have to take before starting this type of company. But if they have all the information available to them, this can be a very lucrative venture.
Hire people you can trust
Before the store doors are opened, leaders must know they can trust their workers to put in the effort needed for a fast-paced business cycle and that the staffers are willing to take on responsibilities during busy months. Entrepreneur Magazine said that during the hiring process, administrators need to prep their potential workers and ensure they can efficiently get the necessary work done in the short amount of time.
Keep track of finances
Rather than recording financial figures by hand on spreadsheets, seasonal companies are usually best served by using accounting software. Because the time a business can operate is so limited, processes are often very frantic, so most firms need all hands on deck. When things are rushed, mistakes are made, so automating economic tasks tends to be more lucrative.
The Small Business Association reported that planning with programs is necessary, and that software helps make recording invoicing, making projections and keeping track of payments much easier and faster. This can also help owners keep a budget, as spending for business reasons during off-peak times can be detrimental.
Consider other options for the remaining seasons
Particularly if cash is tight and the continuity of a company is threatened, leaders might want to think about expanding their operations so they can be relevant during other times of the year as well. Entrepreneur said that many firms can grow successfully but still remain securely within their industry. For example, many landscapers that traditionally operate during the summer can look into snow plowing and decorating as the weather gets colder.