Is your small business impacted by seasonality?

Perhaps you’ve noticed that certain times of year tend to be more hectic, whereas others tend towards being quiet. Whether you run a café, a hairdressing salon, a carpentry business or something completely different, there will be seasons of plenty and seasons where things are quieter.

Depending on the type of business you run, these may be easy to identify, such as gardening businesses who typically are busier in the spring and summer months. As a small business owner, you can minimise unpredictability and increase profits through leveraging seasonality to inspire your marketing calendar.

What is seasonality?

Seasonality refers to the cycling busy and quiet seasons of business – there are times when business is so busy you hardly have time to stop and think, and other times where things are quieter. No matter what kind of business you run, you will likely be familiar with having “feast” and “famine” times in your business.

How can I leverage seasonality in my marketing calendar?

There are several strategies that can be used to leverage seasonality in your small business marketing calendar. Which strategy you choose can depend on the type of business that you own, however the following three strategies can be adapted to any business:

  1. Identify events and public holidays through the year create themed marketing around these dates.
    • These can be on a local, national or global scale, such as a local festival, Australia Day, Christmas, Easter, New Year’s Day and Valentine’s Day.

 

  1. Research commonly held associations with different times of year and how they are relevant to your business
    • Spring is commonly associated with new growth, spring-cleaning, and the colour green. As a result, you might choose to release a new product, or do a stock clearance in Spring.
    • Summer is commonly associated with sunshine, holidays and the outdoors. This would be a perfect time for camping business to do a promotion regarding ‘getting out in the great outdoors’.

 

  1. Identify the quiet times in your business, and use marketing during this period to create anticipation for the busy season, offer ‘off season’ specials or offers. This is also a great time to reap benefits and gain loyal customers, and is a great time to promote after-sales service and add-ons.

No matter your budget or how you choose to leverage seasonality to inspire your small business marketing, be sure to be creative and clever, know your customers, be relevant, authentic while ensuring consistency with your brand image.

For some inspiration, check out our article on 7 low cost marketing ideas for your small business. (link to: https://quickbooks.intuit.com/au/resources/promoting-your-business/7-low-cost-marketing-ideas-for-your-small-business/)

Top tips for budding mumpreneurs looking to make the switch to becoming self employed

Are you a mum dreading going back into a job with no flexibility and wondering if you should make the switch to becoming self employed? Perhaps you have a hobby that you want to turn into a business. (Link to: https://quickbooks.intuit.com/au/resources/advice-for-entrepreneurs/from-hobby-to-business-the-unfiltered-truth-and-how-to-get-ready/ ) Take a look at the following 14 tips to help you kickstart your own business (and possibly help you decide on the “what” to do, if you’re still working that out too!).

  1. Follow your passion – Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life! Is there something you are super passionate about? If you’re not sure, ask your close friends and family what you talk about (besides your kids) – this may help you discover your passions and talents!
  2. Research, research, research! – Know your market and your competition before you start. Check out shops, websites, social media pages of similar businesses and see how they run things.
  3. Know what sets you apart – Whether that’s a theme, your ‘why’ of wanting to be self employed, the service or flexibility, know your niche builds confidence.
  4. Begin – Even if it’s a few hours a week while you keep your day job, you can start small and build as you grow.
  5. Don’t be frightened off by the naysayers – Yes, the economy is softening; yes, there are lean times in all businesses. No, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a successful business.
  6. Look like a business – Invest in professional business branding – things such as signage, business cards, a website, social media pages build customer confidence and increase the chances that potential customers can find your business!
  7. Network – It doesn’t have to be attending a big, formal social event. Networking can be as simple as making a connection with someone on social media. Find a group of like-minded people/other mumpreneurs (such as a Facebook Mumpreneurs group in your area) is gold!
  8. Ask for help – Building a network of people who are supportive of you and your vision is essential. That might be your partner, close friends or others in your network.
  9. Engage professionals (such as a qualified bookkeeper) to assist you – you don’t need to be an expert at everything!
  10. Simplify as much as possible – When you’re in the initial set-up phase of business, it can be wise to simplify household routines, drop some things off your schedule, to enable you to have the time and mental energy to devote to your business.
  11. Be you – Do business your way, be authentic, don’t be afraid to do something differently – those are the kinds of things that can make your business unique and stand out from the crowd!
  12. Expect to re-invest – Plan to put a large percentage of any profits you make in the first year or so, back into the business to allow your business to grow. During this time, it can be helpful to have a second income stream to help avoid financial stress.
  13. Expect to be busy – Don’t think that having your own business is somehow going to magically create extra time or space in your life. If anything, expect that it will be a huge learning curve which takes up a lot of your time and energy.
  14. Enjoy! – Starting your own business is a crazy ride. There will be tears, frustrations, days of triumph, days of defeat and moments of glory. Embrace each moment and use them to make you and your business stronger!

 For more information please contact Deb from Accountability, BAS and Bookkeeping Services – Toowoomba