If survival is for the fittest, then turning a seasonal business into a profit-steering success all year round is certainly for the elite – and when it comes to an independent working lifestyle, delivering continuous reward through your seasonal work is probably one of the most important challenges you’ll face.
We look at 5 ways to yield year-round profit from seasonal business service delivery
1. Understand the Cycles
You cannot manage what you don’t measure, an influencer from a past corporate world used to tell me. And measuring the cycle of peaks and troughs through your service delivery is understanding what to expect, having the ability to plan ahead, and more importantly, toughen up your offering through the harvest years, to help you survive the drought.
2. Find natural ways to repurpose yourself
With any seasonal-related business, or service, one is inclined to think that what worked last season could not possible be replicated or re-purposed for this one, right? Wrong. The art of successful creativity is looking at the things that worked, and re-purposing, re-packaging and re-planning them to deliver new value, wrapped up in a new creative delivery. As a seasoned consultant, you’ll most likely understand the core principles that most of your clients are looking for – whether it’s strategic growth, innovation, change – at the heart of the project lies a more-often-than-not simple problem waiting to be solved. So look at your seasonal success and identify the winning streaks that still have life in them, and then re-purpose yourself.
Now, before you get too caught up in Number 2 above, thinking you’ll just Copy & Paste for the rest of your consulting career, take a second. Business changes, clients change, environments change – and as a consultant, thinking on your feet is what makes you good at what you do. So while you’re looking for the winning streaks, be sure to factor in plenty of time to experiment and try new ideas throughout your seasonal projects. Who knows – they may become your new winning streak. Plan to create – it may just become the new normal.
4. Backup Plan
Always always always have a financial back-up plan. Although the excitement of the unknown may be the thing that drives you, remember that as an independent worker, there is never any guarantee that the seasonal business will be there for you next year, this time. Establishing and managing a financial backup plan to see you through the seasonal drought, and unexpected season dips, is a sure way to keep you on the creative path moving forward, as opposed to risking you getting stuck along the way. It may mean you need to diversify your skills, or supplement your income with another run-of-the-mill, less seasonal cash-flow stream, but your proactivity will protect you from risk of downtime, and income-loss.
5. Find new ways to communicate
Keeping your name on the lips of your clients, all year round, is the most important mission you need to be on. Your client’s world changes overnight, especially in the seasonally-focussed commercial world – and what they’re looking for is a tried and tested, sure-to-deliver, business partner that they can call on whenever they need to, and who they know will deliver with their business in mind. Take the time to execute a communication strategy throughout the year to keep your service at the forefront of your clients’ worlds.
Join us in our next Live Broadcast on Tuesday 4 July. as we discuss the art of managing business peaks and troughs as an independent consultant.
About the AuthorMore Content by Katy Roberts