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The Alternative Board Blog

Balance Your Business Goals with Seasonal Fluctuations

Jul. 3, 2024 | Posted by Lee Polevoi
Balance Your Business Goals with Seasonal Fluctuations Narration


A seasonal business differs from other businesses in that everything depends upon effective sales and attention to customer demands at particular times of the year. However, as with any other business endeavor, to achieve specified goals, it’s vital to plan ahead, rather than being caught off-guard by changes in the marketplace or other seasonal fluctuations.

As we’ve noted before, identifying goals for a seasonal business aren’t dramatically different from the goals of more conventional, year-round businesses. The key in all cases is to:

  • Resolve any business issue getting the way of long-range growth.
  • Look for ways to get a step ahead of the competition.
  • Explore goals to achieve in the next few years.

By adhering to a workable strategy, you can help “ensure the business plan occupies a meaningful place within the organization, rather than ending up as yet another document left forgotten on a shelf.”


Here are tips for balancing your business goals with seasonal fluctuations:


Hone your forecasting skills.

Any business owner whose company has a track record of sales over the years probably has a strong sense of how well they fare during different times of the year. More conventional businesses consider forecasting a key element in the planning process, and this applies to seasonal businesses, too. These action steps can keep this activity top-of-mind throughout the organization:

  • Create monthly forecasts for sales, expenditures and long-range cash-flow.
  • Scrutinize forecasts at least once-a-month to adjust to changes in the marketplace.
  • Establish a budget that reins in unnecessary expenditures.


These steps will help you look back on “past trends and data to anticipate and prepare for the months ahead,” notes Acumen Connections.


Pay close attention to marketing strategies.

Regardless of business or industry, the goal of marketing is to capture customer interest. For seasonal businesses, the off-season marks a time when you can assess the value of your current sales channels and think about establishing new and different ways to reach customers.

Find prospective customers via email marketing campaigns, social media platforms, and targeted advertising. But don’t relax your efforts to keep sales going. Remember, what’s “off-season” in one location might be “in-season” somewhere else.


Look at new ways to enhance the customer experience.

For seasonal businesses, like any other endeavor, creating a favorable customer experience is a crucially important objective. Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. recommends leveraging strategies “such as mobile ordering, online reservations, and self-service kiosks to streamline operations and reduce wait times.” Focus as well on maintaining a staff that provides “friendly and efficient service” and keeps customers “aware of new seasonal products and promotions.”


Take proactive steps during the off-season.

A seasonal business has an edge over other businesses in that there is an off-season in which to plan ahead and adjust to new marketplace conditions. During this time, you can revise your sales forecasts and establish a new budget (as needed), based on recent sales activities.

The off-season is also a good time to take a fresh look at your seasonal business website. If the site is clunky or not user-friendly, take the opportunity to give it an overhaul. Doing so at this time when “traffic levels are relatively low” means you “won’t have to worry about any potential issues with tons of visitors on your site,” notes WebFX.

Seasonal enterprises face certain challenges different from more traditional businesses. What all these businesses share is the need to incorporate strategic goals into everyday operations and ensure that the customer experience remains at the very top of their list of priorities.


Read our 19 Reasons You Need a Business Owner Advisory Board


Written by Lee Polevoi

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