There’s a vital question you should ask yourself, when business is [persistently] slow and you can’t seem to pull it out of the slump.
Before you completely rewrite your business plan or dump thousands into a new marketing campaign, ask yourself this: Would your business do better if it were seasonal?
It’s a fundamental question that you may not have considered when you opened your business, but it might just be your golden ticket.
1. You’ll lose money paying overhead, when there are no customers.
When you’re hemorrhaging cash for 6 months out of the year, it can be pretty disconcerting. If you’ve been trying everything and can’t seem to stimulate revenue, then it might not be a bad idea to shut down for part of the year.
Shutting down for a season is a big leap for a small business that is already struggling to stay afloat, but spending more than you’re making to keep the lights on can also lead to your detriment.
2. Use the off-season to explore different opportunities.
Ask yourself, what’s a better use of your time? To spend months on end trying to inject life back into your business, to no avail, or to take an annual sabbatical and find your next venture?
To be determined, and even stubborn, is a great quality in a business owner; however, you should never get stuck on a sinking ship, as an entrepreneur. When your passion project is waiting to be discovered, the off-season could be the perfect time for you to find it.
3. Playing hard-to-get with your customers, sometimes actually works.
There are those who have utilized the fleeting nature of a seasonal business to create a buzz. It’s one of the unexpected benefits of staying open for only a season, wherein (if you have a great product) customer anticipation grows until the time when you finally do open.
This strategy doesn’t exactly work for all business types—particularly if your product is something people need year-round—but if you market properly in the off-season and build the hype, it’s a legitimate option.
4. It’s an alternative to shutting down for good.
So you’ve reached the point where you’ve run out of ideas to bolster your business—that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s time to close your doors. If you were already going to close it down, why not consider, as an alternative, making the shift to seasonal operation?
Of course not every business owner can swing it, since you will probably need a supplemental source of income, but if you have the means, it will give your business another shot at bouncing back.
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.