Setting up a seasonal business requires different approaches to non-seasonal businesses. Whilst most companies have a steady stream of business all year round, seasonal businesses have a shorter time period to operate. Therefore, it is really important to optimize your opportunities in the peak period. Let’s look at some typical seasonal industries to help explain how you can make the most of your business:
Whilst there are many ski resorts that operate all year round, there is only Timberline Lodge in Oregon that opens all year round in the US. The rest of the ski resorts in the US are impacted by the weather/snowfall and therefore ski resort businesses need to make the most of the months that they are open. To do this, they need to have good planning and in the time when they are closed, they can still do key actions such as marketing to get people to book ahead to stay at the resort and work on attracting good staff.
Removing snow can be a very good industry to operate in because it does not require huge expenses or skill to do. You will require a snowplow or other snow removal machinery but you won’t have outlays like acquiring land, you will just need somewhere to keep your machinery and somewhere to set up an office for the admin work. Whilst it can be an easy industry to get started in, it is quite a high-risk job given the icy roads and possible cause of damage so it is important to get snow removal insurance to prevent going out of business if you have to pay out on property damage or other unexpected costs.
It is not just the colder climates that influence seasonal industries, as planting and harvesting is done in cycles. Planting in the US tends to be from April to June and then harvesting is completed in October and November. Therefore, employing farming staff in time for the cycles is crucial, as well as making sure that the machinery is all in working order before the two cycles commence. Farmers will usually work very long hours to maximize the output from the short time windows, or employ enough workers to cover shifts throughout the day.
The retail industry has fluctuations around holidays, with Christmas shopping being a particularly busy period where companies will often need to take on additional seasonal staff. Maintaining stock levels is naturally pivotal during such a busy period. Bars and restaurants are similar, getting busier around holiday times and celebrations like Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve. Dedicating more planning around staff rotas and offering festive menus are good ways to make the most of the increased custom in the busy holiday period.
When you are working in a seasonal industry, there are many different factors to consider and good planning and time management within the busy periods is essential to the success of these types of companies.