Here's a hard truth: Cash flow can be rough during summer months. No matter your line of business, consumers tend to replace time in stores and on screens with vacations and life's other outdoor pursuits.
So how can your business maximize cash flow during these summer months to cushion your bottom line?
Below you'll find some ideas to help you explore ways you can help keep revenue rolling in year-round if you run a seasonal business. You'll also find ideas to help you plan ahead for slow times no matter when they occur. With a little planning, you just might discover that the ebbs can turn into flows.
1. Invest in pre-sale potential.
To boost your summertime cash flow, consider packaging your best-loved products and offering them at a pre-sale discount during your busier times of the year. For example, winter months bring a boost to restaurants with holiday parties and warm indoor dining options. Consider offering gift certificate discounts to your captive audience during booming business periods to help make up for lower cash flow times.
A flash sale sent out via email or social media during your slower times of the year can put customers on alert for exclusive savings.
It's also worth exploring pre-selling services offered in the fall and winter during these summer months. General contractors and other trade-related businesses can use pre-sale discounts to encourage clients to pre-book their home renovations or fall-to-winter yard cleanups for the holidays.
I think medical spas do an excellent job of leveraging pre-sales. During the winter months, they offer package pricing on skin treatments that are best received during summer months (and vice versa). Knowing that their customers have different needs at different times of the year helps these businesses tailor packages that are the perfect balance of what their clients need now and what they will want in the months to come.
2. Explore seasonal specials.
Special seasonal offerings can help attract customers to your business during the slow summer months as well.
By giving customers something exclusive to look forward to during the summer that's not part of your year-round offerings, you're establishing both an urgency and potentially a following for your specials.
Restaurants can offer special menus or tasting events that bring business to their summer patio. Drink specials, seasonal dishes and special events that tap into your clientele's favorites can also help boost business during summer months when business lags.
3. Leverage flash sales.
As you look to boost foot traffic during the long and lovely days of summer, look for ways to make the most of unexpected surprises for your customers.
A flash sale sent out via email or social media during your slower times of the year can put customers on alert for exclusive savings. This means customers will be on the lookout for flash sales that can only be redeemed in person and make a special trip to see you before they head off to enjoy the pleasant summer weather.
As you begin to brainstorm flash sales for the summer months, be sure to look at weather trends, best-selling favorites that your customers would be keen to stock up on and exclusives that you can only offer during slower times (like specialty items from a local artisan).
Flash sales can help you boost cash flow and delight your customers, making them feel like they're part of a club with exclusive access to deals not available to the general public. You also might find that these sales are a powerful way to boost your email and social media rosters, too.
4. Tide your business over.
If your company has a lull in the summer, business loans could help you bridge the cash-flow gap.
With predictable revenue throughout the rest of the year, you can use term loans to make investments in your business during the slower summer months. Upgrading a kitchen or adding much-needed inventory can start during your downtime. Term loans can help you make capital improvements or even retain key talent while revenue is at a minimum, giving you the breathing room to keep your business poised for growth as you return to your busy season.
Read more articles on managing money.
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