Use Your Summer Slow-Down Wisely

As the days grow warmer and people start taking vacations, wellness businesses often take a hit. Therapy slows down and people opt for outdoor workouts instead of the gym.

Hopefully you’re prepared for the financial slowdown that comes with seeing fewer clients. That means having a subscription-based revenue model and having an advanced account that holds your summer expenses for you.

But with the summer slow-down, your time opens up for so many opportunities behind the scenes while still allowing you to keep a steady paycheck. Let’s explore each one of these!

Adjust Your Revenue Models

The most failsafe way to ensure you never have a summer slow-down in your revenue 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.

This is something that you can set up now so you’re prepared for next year. And it’s also something to talk to clients about starting now to protect yourself in the short term. It’s added incentive for them to find time to see you between vacations.

But how do you incentivize your clients to pay even if they aren’t using your services when they are on vacation? 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. And since you never know what might happen in the marketplace, it behooves you to create a model like this now rather than wait and see.

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.

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 and to take care of some of those to-do’s that you’ve been putting off. Here are some ideas:

  • Review your operations. You can do this or, better yet, have a team member who is fully integrated in the back-end operations of your business do this for you. This ensures you’re always operating smoothly, which allows for easy onboarding of new team members and clients.
  • Let go of tasks. While you’re reviewing operations, brainstorm a list of things that you don’t want to do, don’t like to do, or aren’t especially great at…that you can delegate to someone else. You might not be able to let go of these things right away, but it’s nice to think ahead.
  • Do some deep cleaning. You’re probably already deep cleaning regularly, but why not clean out the areas that you’re overlooking? Storage closets and desks usually aren’t part of regular cleaning cycles, so now’s a great time to take care of them.

Take Time Away

You deserve to have a vacation too! It’s okay to take yourself out of the day-to-day operations for a few days, or even a few weeks. But it does take some planning ahead to do that.

Time away is good for your mental health, your family, and your business and team. Your team members will have the freedom to do things a little differently, which could help support more efficiency and autonomy.

Plan your own vacation so that you don’t have to log into your computer at the beach. Disconnect as much as you can and use the downtime to recharge your brain. And if payroll has to run while you’re away, it’s okay to run it early. Simply estimate the hours of any hourly employee and adjust in the next payroll run. Hours usually don’t fluctuate a lot in the wellness industry, but it’s a good idea to let employees know what your plan is.

You can also have a trusted team member take care of some of your to-do’s for you. Your vacation could be your first step in finding some additional time freedom!

If this all seems overwhelming, reach out. We’re happy to help.

Shannon Simmons

Shannon has been consulting with small businesses for over 10 years. After 2 years in public accounting she saw a need to work for small business owners to teach them how to grow financially healthy businesses. She has built on her Master of Accountancy degree from Manchester University by becoming a Certified Profit First Professional and a Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor. When she’s not meeting with entrepreneurs or assessing their businesses, she enjoys time with her husband and 2 children serving in their community, playing and watching sports, marveling at nature or reading a good book.

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