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If you operate a seasonal business and are starting to wonder if the uneven revenues stream and stress-filled crunch times are worth all the hassle, take heart. Millions of small businesses post the bulk of their annual sales during a short season or cycle.
For many businesses, the holidays are a boom time. Fitness centers soar in January and sag with summer exodus. Some businesses sell more when the weather warms, the tax or wedding season arrives, or the number of Williamsburg tourists rises or falls and your business is directly affected.
To help smooth the bumps it will be important to create a tight budget and stick to it through the year. Create a special cash reserve account and set money aside regularly for use only in leaner months. Creating a cash follow forecast will help you identify patterns and see what you are up against; include a worst-case plan to aid in anticipating any nasty shock.
Operating a seasonal business also requires that you plan and use your time more efficiently than other business owners. Put slower times to good use; update your Website, catch up on maintenance, strengthen customer relations review your business plan or write a new marketing plan.
You may want to employ a core of permanent workers and use temps or interns to fill as extra help during hectic periods. To make sure everything gets done and avoid burnout, you’ll need to schedule your time and assets wisely.
To assist with your seasonal cash flow, you may want to consider contacting your financial institution for a short term loan or line of credit; additionally the SBA can assist you and your financial institution with a SBA-Guaranteed loan. For more information www.sba.gov/financialassistance/.
Score can help you navigate the seasonal sales bumps to succeed.
If you have questions about this or other business subjects call SCORE (Phone 757-229-6511) or visit www.scorewilliamsburg.org to arrange for a free and confidential appointment. The Williamsburg SCORE office is located in the Williamsburg Chamber and Tourism Alliance Building at 421 N. Boundary St.
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