Season’s Beatings: 3 Tips for Overcoming Profit Slumps

Some businesses are heavily seasonal. Some so seasonal that they’re only open during specific times of the year, like the costume store that opens only for the month before Halloween or the ice cream stand that opens in May and closes in September.

Many businesses you might not think of as seasonal will still experience varying volumes depending on the time of year. For example, an outpatient emergency medicine clinic might get a lot of business during flu season, but do very little business in the summer when its customers/patients are generally feeling better (or away on vacation).

If you’re finding that you’re at the helm of a business with some seasonal shifts, here are 3 things to think about during the slowdown.

1. R&D (Research and Development)

When a business is busy, you need to run just to keep up with the demands of your customers. Hence, slow times can be a blessing in disguise as they offer you the ability to review customer feedback and to improve your product or service in ways you didn’t have the time for when business was booming.

2. Catch your Breath

Running a business is no easy task. Barbara Corcoran of Shark Tank says the definition of an entrepreneur is someone willing to work 80 hours per week to avoid working 40. If your customers are on vacation, maybe it’s the perfect time for you to finally take a break as well.

3. Don’t Panic — Season Proof

A slowdown can feel unnerving. You might worry it’s never going to pick back up. Don’t panic. Another season is right around the corner. With that said, if the slump is putting you in read financial hardship, take the slow time as an opportunity to find new ways to even out your business year-round.

Someone who cuts grass in the summer might begin plowing driveways in the winter, for example. Perhaps even that ice cream stand mentioned above could sell French fries and hot cocoa in the winter months.

As for the costume store, they might have no choice but to wait until next October.

Do you have any ideas for how to overcome seasonal business slumps? Share them by leaving a comment below!

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Dr. Anthony Centore

Anthony Centore

Anthony Centore, PhD, is Founder and Chair at Thriveworks — a counseling practice focused on premium client care, with 340+ locations across the US. Anthony is a Private Practice Consultant for the American Counseling Association, columnist for Counseling Today magazine, and author of "How to Thrive in Counseling Private Practice". He is a multistate Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) and has been quoted in national media sources including The Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, and CBS Sunday Morning.

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