3 Steps to Start a Seasonal Business
More entrepreneurs than ever are starting seasonal businesses. These might be accountants who put together tax firms in the spring or holiday proprietors who create pop-up stores for Halloween or Christmas. Either way, these types of seasonal businesses have a very specific window to launch. After all, they need to make as much money as possible before their season has passed. That means they don't have time for complex problems and convoluted contracts. Follow these 3 tips to get your business launched in a few weeks so you can take advantage of the seasonal rush.
Look for Temporary Space - office or retail
If you're trying to make the most of a few months, then you'll want perhaps a temporary mall kiosk or perhaps an office workspace where you can have meetings and use professional office equipment. This of course assumes your business is not a work from home concept.
Look into coworking spaces in your area and see if there are options for renting an office for a few months. This creates the appearance of professionalism without the expense of a year-round office. If your concept is retail, contact all your local mall manager and ask them what types of products they are accepting, if they have kiosk's available, what they rent for and the required hours you must be there.
Hire Contractors as Seasonal Labor
When running a seasonal business, the key to success is making sure you can replicate the process year after year. To do this, make sure you have seasonal labor that you can rely on to work for you next year. Many haunted houses flourish in October because employees regularly return in the fall. The same happens during spring training in March.
If possible, hire your employees as contractors or as part-time hourly labor. Part-time contractors also have more flexible schedules than people looking for a full-time job, so you should have a wider talent pool to choose from. After all, you are not the only one out there trying to make a little bit of extra holiday money. Put an ad on craigslist.com in your area and watch the resumes pour in.
Find Vendors Who Work With High-Risk Businesses
As a seasonal business owner, it's hard to build your credit history. That can turn into a major red flag for some businesses. For example, banks and credit processors might decline your application because they don't know the frequency and size of purchases to expect. One thing you can do is find a high-risk credit card processing company to help you establish a merchant account. Once you are up and running and have a season or two behind you, getting better rates should be much easier.
To find other vendors that work with seasonal and small businesses, talk to other professionals in your coworking space or attend networking events. Others in your industry should be able to point you in the right direction for staffing, health care, insurance, and other technical necessities that your business must have before it can start making money this season.
Your seasonal business is a great opportunity to make extra money or boost your income for the rest of the year. Don't get caught up in the technical aspects like credit processing and office rentals, which will slow down your launch. Remember, you only have a few months to make the bulk of your revenue. If you're stuck finding employees, a retail space or office location, you might miss your window. Check out Specialty Retail magazine too for more great ideas on seasonal goods to sell, kiosk and much more and just get started.