Technology Means You Can Stay Open Year-Round
In the world of seasonal businesses, we’re all too familiar with the ebb and flow of peak seasons and the slower months. Traditionally, the model has been to capitalize on the highs, endure the lows, and shut down during the off-season. But times are changing, and the challenges faced by today’s seasonal businesses are unlike those of the past.
What we’re seeing now is that seasons are getting extended in touristy areas, and local communities are eager to support local businesses year-round. But what happens when they can’t because so many establishments still close their doors for 4-6 months?
The Seasonal Business Dilemma:
Before the era of COVID-19, this model seemed to work for most seasonal businesses. Staff members could take advantage of peak seasons, earn good money, and save for the off-season. However, a confluence of factors has disrupted this traditional approach.
Rising Living Costs: The cost of living, including housing, has become prohibitively high in many tourist-centric areas. It’s often just as expensive to live there in the off-season as it is during the peak.
Competitive Job Market: When employees can’t afford to stay in the off-season, they often seek employment elsewhere. This creates an excellent opportunity for year-round competitors offering better wages and benefits.
Employee Attrition: For businesses that rely on seasonal staff, this employee attrition can be a death sentence. Without returning employees, businesses struggle to maintain consistent service quality.
Unlocking Year-Round Business Potential:
So, what’s the solution? How can seasonal businesses thrive year-round? The answer lies in leveraging technology and rethinking your approach:
1. Smart Scheduling: Use technology to analyze historical data, current market trends, and local events to determine when it’s profitable to be open versus closed. This data-driven approach can optimize your operation and help you stay open when it matters most.
2. Online Ordering and Delivery: Embrace technology like online ordering, phone ordering with curbside pickup, or partnering with services like DoorDash. These options allow you to maintain a presence even when customers can’t visit in person.
3. Integrated Reservation Systems: Utilize integrated reservation systems to manage your front-of-the-house staffing more efficiently. These systems allow you to adapt to the changing demand and avoid overstaffing during slow periods.
4. Marketing and Loyalty Programs: Invest in digital marketing strategies and customer loyalty programs to keep your clientele engaged year-round. Offering special incentives to your local customers during the off-season can help sustain your business.
5. Diversification: Explore complementary services or products you can offer during the off-season. For example, if you run a seasonal restaurant, consider catering, hosting events, or creating retail merchandise.
The landscape of seasonal businesses is evolving. With the right technology and a forward-thinking approach, you can extend your operational season, keep your valued staff employed year-round, and cater to the needs of both your local and tourist customer base.
At Ardiah Managed Services, we understand the challenges of seasonal businesses and are here to help you harness the power of technology. Let’s explore how you can use modern tools to make your business a year-round success, ensuring you’re there when your customers need you. The time for change is now, and we’re here to guide you through it.