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Filing Zeros: Best Practices for Maintaining Seasonal Businesses During the Offseason

Filing Zeros: Best Practices for Maintaining Seasonal Businesses During the Offseason | Complete Payroll

With Memorial Day right around the corner, many seasonal small businesses are gearing up for some busy months ahead. 

Meanwhile, many other small businesses are starting to wind down from their busy season. If that sounds like you, you’re probably wondering what you can be doing right now. How can your business survive through the quiet months? How can you make the most of your offseason so that you’re better prepared for when business picks up? 

In this article, we will give you some of our best tips for making sure your seasonal business is still thriving and ready to tackle the busy season when it rolls back around. 

1. Know Your Season

Before you know how to combat your offseason, it’s essential to know when your offseason really is. To get a handle on that timeframe, you need to go to your data and look at your sales. If you have years of experience in your business, look at data for 2-3 years to look for seasonal trends in your sales. If you’re still a young company, look at industry trends for the goods and services you provide and see what patterns you can find in their sales data.

2. Budget According to Your Season

When you’re the busiest and watching your profits climb higher and higher, don’t get tempted to spend those profits right away. It is very possible that your offseason may stagnate your sales completely. Use profits to create a cushion for yourself to sustain you through your slow season.

3. Keep Your Offseason Expenses Down

Speaking of budgets, you should also consider some things you can do in the offseason to cut expenses. One simple way to do this is to employ your staff on a seasonal basis instead of permanently to save money on payroll. 

4. Diversify If Possible

If what your small business offers is clearly meant for a specific time of the year, think about ways you can offer counter-seasonal goods or services so that your small business transforms into a yearlong venture. For example, a landscaping company could diversify by offering snow removal and ice treatment during the winter months with some of their equipment.

5. Stay in Touch With Your Customers

You might not see them, but your customers haven’t gone anywhere during your offseason. Make sure they remember that you haven’t gone anywhere either. Keep in contact with your customers through social media, emailed newsletters, and direct mail. As your busy season begins to approach, celebrate your “return” with a “Welcome Back” message and discount. 

6. Prepare for your Busy Season

The downtime for your sales doesn’t have to be downtime for you and your employees. Take advantage of the quiet and get ready for the rush you know will return. Use your off-season to complete any maintenance or repairs to the equipment that keeps your business running. 

If you manufacture a product, stock up to keep customers happy with products on hand. Additionally, you can use that time to offer your employees professional development in customer service to help them make your upcoming busy season successful. 


For other tips and tricks to help you run your small business, check out Complete Payroll’s regularly updated blog. There you’ll find a wealth of content to help your business grow and thrive no matter what the season. 

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