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seasonal businesses

Discussion in 'Marketing and Sales' started by stressmom, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. Do any of you have businesses which would typically be considered seasonal? This is not a great example, but I would think that an ice cream shop would be a seasonal venture- successful in the summer months and then waning in the winter. If this is the case what do you gdo to turn a profit year round or do you basically have to clear all that you can and save for the lean months to come?
     
  2. Truly seasonal businesses have to do just that... Seaside towns for instance can really be in the doldrums during the winter; many businesses just shut down as the overheads can't be covered.

    Some of 'the olds' in my family were in the restaurant trade. I can well remember how hectic things would get around Christmas/New year. As the caterers in the family were of Chinese descent the whole family seemed to shut down at the end of January into February for Chinese New Year... Often all the cousins would get hived off to the 'Gweilo' side of the family for much of the school holidays.. Then it would be quiet to middling for a few months building up to the great crescendo at Christmas again... Summer months were busy-ish....

    Even my own business tends to ease off just before Christmas, gets busier as the weather improves, peaks around late October... I suspect relatively few businesses are without some sort of 'season' to them...
     
  3. I recently arranged finance for an ice cream shop where seasonality was not a big factor - in actual fact their busiest period was Christmas/New Year due to amount of shoppers.

    Equally I have worked with a company recently where they had a highly seasonal market - they were losing substantial money in Summer and hoping to make it up in Winter but this was heavily reliant on decent weather in the Winter.

    We investigated the market and skill sets of the employees - and have just launched a new range of services which has an all year round market - currently they have a two month order book in which is traditionally one of their quietest times.

    Sometimes it needs someone fresh to look at the business from a different perspective.
     
  4. Location dependent then surely?

    I seem to recall the Nardini family about 14-15 years ago making the effort to promote Largs as a bit of a winter resort. Well suited to the older market I'd have thought. ....I believe places like Brighton manage to buck the seasonal trend. and of course Blackpool is a classic example of how the traditional seasons can be well managed.

    As you say Michael.. New eyes; and perhaps a little lateral thinking..
     
  5. Making tiaras is quite seasonal. The last 3 years have saw my business die a death in November and December. Everyone is Christmas shopping and wedding plans are all put onto the back burner. Come January things start to pick up again though..thankfully. I am doing more jewellery in particular wire wrapped jewellery. So I am hoping that by joining craft websites I can find a wee market for my jewellery for Christmas. I first brought it to the notice of locals by doing a small press release to a local newspaper and I managed to get a bit of a write up about it although I didnt get any business from it last year I am hoping that by exhibiting this jewellery at wedding fayres people will remember for this year.
    Di :)
     
  6. I think a lot of businesses that you wouldn't consider seasonal are because of budgets and 'year end'.

    I have found that you will see a glut of public sector spending close to the end of the financial year and lots of tenders up for grabs. I've even come across public sectors that will insist on being invoiced before their year end, even before the work has been completed.

    I know this isn't exactly seasonal but yearly budget do have a knock on effect.
     
  7. barryhynd

    barryhynd Founder
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    I think there's a degree of seasonality in most businesses to be honest. Accountants for example are very busy in January but then mostly dead in February, you can pretty much apply it to any business I think.

    Part of adjusting for this will involve building cash etc to compensate for these times. Every business will go through quiet periods and I think the secret is to use these times to plan for the busier times ahead. :)
     
  8. I think that you are absolutely right that every business experiences seasonal ebbs and flows. How many years of being within a specific business do you think it takes for one to best be able to recognize these trends so they can plan ahead for slow times? Do you think it is a wise idea to determine this from looking at others in the same business?
     
  9. I would class the likes of landscaping and gardening as seasonal as the bad weather can disrupt many plans :)