There's a reason they call Florida the Sunshine State: many of the people who visit there are seeking fun in the sun. For those who don't live there, thinking of Florida conjures up the idea of a long sandy beach or its famous amusement parks. If you're one of the many proprietors who own a seasonal business in Florida, you may find yourself financially challenged when the tourists go home and your sales dwindle.
When fewer customers visit your business, you should take maximum advantage of the ones who patronize you now. If you have some items that are popular in the off-season, offer a discount for items that aren't selling well during the off-season. For example, your shop may sell beach-related items, and your customers may still enjoy buying postcards or taffy. If you offer a bargain on beach items for next year, you may be able to gain some profit now.
With fewer customers visiting you, now may be the time to look at the building you do business in. If the exterior needs a makeover, now may be the ideal time to accomplish that. One popular exterior material for beach towns is siding due to its wind resistance. Statistics show when siding has been installed, it can withstand winds over 100 mph. You may be interested to learn that if the wind removes the siding, vinyl siding is more accessible to re-install than other varieties of siding.
Another way to cash in on some of next year's profits is to sell discount tickets for the customers' patronization next year. This works well for amusement parks, attractions, and sports arenas. Place advertisements for season tickets, memberships, or discount admissions for next year at travel agencies and in national magazines. If you're offering season tickets, you can give an additional incentive to those who purchase them in the winter.
As you plan your strategy for next year's tourist season, don't forget to include the other members of your management team - especially your business partner. This is not just a time for planning the way your business will go; it can also be a time to refine the way your partnership will work together next season. With statistics showing that up to 70% of business partnerships don't succeed, the time you spend with your partner in the off-season can become an investment in your joint future.
Since your income is lower, yet you still need to advertise, it's a good idea to spend as little as possible on marketing. Now is the time to use your Facebook page to its best advantage. Use the page in the off-season to whet their appetite for changes you plan to make for next season. You might decide to modify a part of your merchandise to fit with the season (perhaps Santa could be sunning himself on your beach towels?)
Just as this season can be the ideal time to bond with your partner, it can also be a time to care for yourself. You may decide to add some fitness elements to your daily routine. You may choose to begin jogging or running. After all, according to Statistica, over 65 million Americans participated in running between spring 2008 and spring 2014.
Florida is a great place to live, and the tourist season provides many opportunities for seasonal businesses. Lobby with some other companies in similar circumstances, and see if you can find creative ways to help each other through the off-season. With some wise planning and imaginative marketing strategies, you can find a way to make the off-season an opportunity- rather than a liability.
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