Nearly every business experience times of the year when sales are much higher than other times of the year. This is often due to seasonal demand. Businesses in areas high in tourism may become busier during the spring or summer months. Having a successful busy season requires you to plan ahead and start preparing as soon as you expect an uptick in sales.
Get Enough Working Capital
Many businesses only have enough working capital to pay their bills, and the rest of their funds may be reinvested into the business. But during busier times, you may need to have more free funds available so you can hire additional staff, take advantage of marketing opportunities, or purchase more inventory. If you don’t have enough cash available to give the busy season a good chance, look for ways of getting more capital.
You could work with a local bank to get a business line of credit, or you could use some of your own funds to make ends meet during a time of increased demand. One option is to use a personal loan to start to put your finances in order. This can give you more cash to invest in your business. Make sure you communicate with your payment processor to ensure they know you may see an increase in transactions. If necessary, you might need to upgrade your credit limits. Check your account’s contract to see what your current limit is. The last thing you want during a busy season is for your payment processor to freeze your account.
Upgrade Technology as Necessary
It’s important to ensure all your company’s technology can handle the increased demand, especially if you allow shoppers to make purchases online. You don’t want customers to miss out because you aren’t able to process their payment information. This is the time to ensure all payment and checkout processes are working. Make any necessary security upgrades and ensure your website offers a user-friendly experience. Even if you don’t offer sales online, having a user-friendly website will encourage potential customers to check your business out online.
Consider Offering Omnichannel Experiences
An omnichannel approach allows you to offer shoppers a more seamless shopping experience. It blends in-store shopping, mobile browsing, and desktop. This type of experience may allow a customer to buy an item online but pick it up in your store, or they could use their phone or a virtual reality experience in the store. Customers who can use this type of approach are more likely to come back to you, and they may recommend you to other people they know.
Start Increasing Inventory Supplies
You don’t want to run out of a popular item when a potential customer is interested in purchasing it. Make sure your store is stocked, especially with the items that have run out fastest in the past. Keep up with trends in the industry so you can predict which items will need to be restocked the soonest. See if you can get discounts from your vendors if you are purchasing larger numbers of items than usual.
Focus on Online Sales
More businesses have been offering online sales as well as in-store sales. This can help smaller businesses maintain the numbers they need. More shoppers have been looking to buy items online, especially after the pandemic. Still, don’t worry if you have not gotten everything online before your busy season begins. Instead, select a few items that you foresee as being the most popular and focus on offering these online. You can then slowly add other items as you go.
Shopping cart abandonment is one concern many businesses have with online shopping. This happens when the customer adds items to their shopping cart and gets ready to purchase them but then never completes the sale. This tends to happen more on mobile devices than on desktops. One reason for this is that many mobile sites tend to be slower or harder to use than their desktop counterparts, especially because of the smaller screen size of mobile devices. Reducing shipping charges or offering free shipping can help a customer be more willing to complete the purchase. You could also offer options for them to buy an item now and pay for it later.