Is a Seasonal Business Right for You. What You Need to Know Before Your Start
Small, seasonal businesses enrich our communities and provide valuable contributions to local economies. However, this unique business model can be tricky to execute successfully, as budding entrepreneurs do not realize that they require the same planning and resources as traditional businesses. Whether you want to run a snack stand at a water park, or design Christmas light displays, you need to approach your new business with the same consideration and commitment as a brick-and-mortar operation. Here are some tips to help you move forward toward success:
- First and foremost, do some serious soul-searching to see if a seasonal business is right for you and your family. The limited window means that you will spend a portion of your year trying to cram as much of your daily time into your business as possible, and you may miss out on a lot. Know what you’re getting into.
- As with any business model, you need to draft a comprehensive business plan that includes start-up costs, a budget, and a timeline of how your seasonal business will operate. You should know who your target audience is as well, and how your business will connect with new customers.
- Investigate any permit issues and other regulations that govern seasonal businesses. Many cities have regulations governing seasonal businesses, including tax and insurance provisions. If your seasonal business will operate in conjunction with another business (like a kiosk at an amusement park), have a clear agreement drawn up by a qualified attorney.
- Research how to obtain a merchant account for a new business. You will need a merchant bank account account to help you with your payment processing, including the ability to accept credit cards. While it may be tempting to operate as a cash-only business, the reality is that most people carry only debit and credit cards. They like the security these methods of payments offer, so even small, seasonal businesses really need to include card processing
- Consult an accountant on how your business taxes will work, and let them help you understand your operating costs.
- Create an advertising plan, and use social media as much as possible. Seasonal businesses need that buzz and word-of-mouth to help them reach customers.