Summer is getting closer. Days are longer. The sun is shining, and people are out!
With the pandemic (hopefully) in its last legs and the increased availability of vaccinated friends and family to hang out with, your business might once again be susceptible to the dreaded summer slow-down.
Granted 2020 threw any “normal” business pattern out the window. Still, if owning a business through a pandemic taught us anything at all, it’s to always be prepared—even for the unexpected. Of course, maintaining a solid paycheck is important, even when your revenue is on a roller coaster.
By prepping your business today for the future, you’ll be ready for next summer and all the summer slowdowns after that!
Utilize your time
While an influx of free time in your business is a nice change of pace, it can also come with the anxiety-inducing stress of being uncertain of when and if the business will come back.
The best way to combat any down-time anxiety is to get busy. Having a slow season is a perfect time to get those project ideas off of the shelf and put some work into developing your business instead of always working in your business.
Utilize the time you have to create new revenue models—which leads me to my next point.
Adjust your revenue models
The most failsafe way to ensure you never have a summer slow down is by creating a monthly recurring revenue model. When your clients take a week or two off to vacation with their families, you still get paid.
But how do you incentivize your clients to pay even if they aren’t using your services? You might be thinking of a discount, and you’re right. But we are NOT talking about discounting your services.
There are many ways to entice your clients to capitalize on a pre-pay model: retail discounts, faster response time, exclusive access, add-on bonuses. The list goes on.
We have worked with massage therapists who offer a regular monthly massage to their pre-paid clients. If they don’t use their massage that month, they can have two the next month. This type of model was HUGELY helpful during the pandemic—clients were racking up unused credits, and business owners could count on the monthly revenue.
You know your business better than anyone else, so get creative. The important part is to create a way to have an income you can count on even when the lean times take hold.
Create a summer account
You’re still coming up with the perfect monthly recurring offering for your business, but that doesn’t mean you can’t proactively prepare for slower summer months.
Many dance studios will run camps, or gyms can run summer workout initiatives. Those are great ways to keep income flowing. If you find yourself without monthly recurring offerings or the ability to run camps, the next best way to help over the summer is to set up a summer savings account.
Figure out the bare necessities you and your business need to get through the summer. You know you’ll need rent, AC, insurance, admin payroll, etc., so after totaling your amount needed for necessities, divide that number by nine and allocate it into your summer account the other nine months of the year.
By creating an extra summer account, you know your basics are covered. Any additional revenue that comes in is “extra” and will cover payroll. If you have a camp over the summer, your basic needs are covered, and teacher payroll will be covered by camp revenue.
It’s hard to enjoy time off with your family if you’re constantly worried about how rent is getting paid. Ensuring your operating expenses and owner’s pay are accounted for no matter what the season brings, you create a more substantial, more sustainable business for you and your clients.
If this all seems overwhelming, reach out. We’re happy to help.