Some businesses don’t operate all year round, while others have distinct patterns of busy and quiet periods. For example, businesses in seaside resorts might shut down completely during winter, while gyms might see a peak in sign-ups around the new year, and restaurants will be particularly busy around Christmas and other special occasions such as Mother’s Day. If you’re thinking about starting a business that also has fluctuating busy periods, it will be important for you to keep tabs on your cash flow in order to survive during low season. One great tool in your arsenal is your business plan. Here’s how you can use different sections of your business plan to help you to account for seasonal trends:
Your Target Market
The outline of your target market is an important part of your business plan, as it helps you to identify who your ideal customer is, what their needs are, and how you can fulfil them. So, who is your target market, and where do they go during your low periods? Use the information you have about your customers to think about how you could entice them back when they might not be thinking about you. Or you could even branch out and offer something different that they might be interested in during your low season. You could also use the competitor research part of your business plan to get ideas based on your competitors’ activities.
Managing Your Time
What will you do during quiet months? For example, will you be working on something new and bringing in people during the low season as above, or will you be preparing for getting the most out of the peak season? This may depend on whether you can make enough money during the high season to make up for the rest of the year. Quieter periods give you more time to play with, and your business plan is a good place to figure out how you can use this time wisely.
The finance section of your business plan will help you to examine your cash flow. It’s easier if you have some numbers from past experience to rely on rather than projections, but if you’re realistic you can still think about the trends and how you will account for them. If you are expecting periods of low business, you can use the finance section of your business plan to find out how much of a shortfall you need to make up.
If you would like some help with writing a business plan for your seasonal business, you’re in the right place. Contact one of our expert business plan writers to find out how we can help you – use the contact form on the right or call 01604 420 420.