— January 22, 2019
Business owners deal with the constant pressure of always being ‘on’ and actively doing work to improve the company’s standing. If you run a seasonal business, this is not always the case.
The other day, my husband was chatting with our neighbor who is a landscaper. Winters are often brutal in our area so we knew he was probably taking an extended holiday vacation from work. To our surprise, our neighbor shared that he was actually happy with taking the time off as it allowed him to spend more time with his family.
On the other hand, there I was working overtime and getting ahead on projects just so I could take a week or two off around Christmas. This made me wonder if running a seasonal business could actually be better for your mental, physical, and financial health. So if is better to have a seasonal business instead of operating a year-round business?
Here are some pros and cons to help you decide.
Benefits of Having a Seasonal Business
Freedom to Take Extended Breaks
The biggest benefit of having a seasonal business is the fact that you don’t have to work year-round. You can take several weeks or months off without being burdened by the constant pressures of running a business.
You can always use this time to plan for the busy season. But this also means more time to spend with your loved ones, travel, or pursue other interests.
Motivation to Be More Efficient
Have you ever heard of Parkinson’s Law? It states that our work expands to fit the time we give it. If you’ve doubted whether you could have a 4-day work week or a 12-week year, you might have been wrong.
With a seasonal business, there is no time to procrastinate because you have to make money during the busy season. You can’t rely on having a full 12 months to meet your goals. This can also work in your favor and motivate you to be more efficient and use your time wisely.
Have More Time to Focus on Strategizing
Too often, business owners get caught up in producing and don’t take the necessary time and energy to focus on marketing and strategy. With a seasonal business, you can use some of your time off to your advantage and create awesome marketing campaigns, advertisements, and promotions to help increase your revenue during the busy season.
Expenses Can Be Lower
Since you may not be actively bringing in revenue the entire year, your business expenses could be lower. Then again, you may have a hard time providing stability for seasonal employees or expecting them to come back on board when business is picking up again so this could also be a drawback.
Drawbacks of Having a Seasonal Business
You May Not Earn Enough Money
This is one of the biggest downsides of having a seasonal business. Your revenue may not last all year long. This is why it’s important to forecast expenses and make sure you’ll earn enough profit to sustain yourself for the entire year.
You’ll definitely want to build up a ton of savings to fall back on in case anything goes wrong or you are hit with unexpected expenses.
Stress Could Be Higher
While taking an extended break sounds nice, this could actually backfire and cause yourself to undergo more stress during the busy season. If you don’t have a clear strategy and profit isn’t adding up, you may be stressed out about having to take a break during the offseason which is why it’s helpful to have a plan B.
Summary: So Which is Better?
Both having a seasonal business and running a business that operates year-round has its pros and cons. The answer depends on what you consider to be a profitable business idea. Whichever option you choose, you will have to strategize and plan out your efforts to promote quality products and services. You’ll need to plan for the unexpected, save during the more prosperous month, and plan your time-off to your advantage.