When it comes to running a seasonal business, you’ve got to be pretty good at planning ahead. With a time-defined period to make your money, if it’s not all in the right place at the right time, it could be the difference between make or break for your business.
Seasonal businesses come in all shapes and sizes. From consumer driven retail around clothing and fashion, to festival and ritual based events including Christmas and Easter. Then there are sporting and cultural events – we’ve got the Euro’s 2016 and Olympics coming up – which inevitably bring a focus of their own to consumer life. On top of that there are the things we do that follow the seasons – sports and hobbies that are dictated by the weather and the great outdoors.
If you’re setting up in business with a seasonal twist, what do you need to be thinking of and when? And how far in advance should you be planning? And what logistical considerations do you need to take? Here’s our take on how to be a top-notch Seasonal Entrepreneur…
Seasonal businesses need a lot of thought and planning across all the areas of business.
Demand for your Product or Service
Whether it’s a product or a service (you might have a business that’s a sure-fire winner, or your proposition could something that needs promoting) you need to consider demand. If you’ve heard on the grapevine that London Fashion week is going to be all about moon boots you’ll want to do some research to make sure you’re not left with unsellable stock. Likewise you’ll want ensure you have enough stock to meet demand – as selling out means you’ve missed out on potential profit. It’s a fine balancing act to get right, and often down to pure entrepreneurial instinct.
If you’re ordering in stock (such as sports gear that has a seasonal use) you need to be sure just how long it will take to be delivered. Check with suppliers and ensure there is some form of guarantee in time for the season start or non-payment clause. Late arrivals miss sales opportunities, and if it is for a time-bound event – such as the Euro’s 2016, – it might end up having virtually no value altogether it arrives after the event has concluded.
You’ll need to be sure you can finance your business before and after the seasonal rush that you’re aiming to capitalise on. If you’ve invested in stock, you’ll need some working capital to keep you going before sales start, and afterwards if you’re moving on to another season. It’s all about levelling out the financial peaks and troughs of seasonal business, keeping enough in the bank to ensure your business remains liquid is an absolute must.
If you’re going to be selling things related to a major sporting or cultural event, you need to be sure you’re not breaking any license. For example – sporting goods branded as official sponsor kit for major events such as the Euro’s will be licensed by UEFA. Don’t get caught out selling goods you don’t have the license for as it could spell the end of your business.
Safe, secure and dry warehousing or storage space for your goods is essential. If you’re not bouncing from one seasonal opportunity to the next that space needs to be flexible too. You don’t want to be paying for it after your stick has shifted, but you also need to be able to expand it if your goods fly off the shelves and you’re in position to order more.
We can help with that and we’ve got just about the most flexible terms you’ll find anywhere. Need to scale up – easy, need to scale back your room, you can do it on the same day. Need to stop storing altogether, no problem, you can move out with no notice and we’ll even refund any days you’ve paid for but not used. Find out more about our business storage on our main website.
Whatever your seasonal business – we hope you’re successful.