Growing Your Franchise During Slow Months

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While blogger Dave Choate is on vacation, we’ll be digging up some gems from PointBlank’s past. Enjoy!

For any franchise that experiences cyclical sales due to the change of the seasons, it’s always scary to enter the slow months. Whether you sell burgers, ice cream, or coffee, the end of the busy season doesn’t mean a vacation for a franchise owner; instead it usually means sleepless nights hoping they’ll survive the down-months.

While some franchisees will be able to cut a large number of their expenses, it also means that their sales suffer equally deep cuts. With the windfall of the peak season behind them, seasonal business owners need to be much more financially disciplined than many of their peers. Whether it’s watching cash flow, or using downtime to grow their business, seasonal businesses don’t have the ability to put their feet up when the customers aren’t walking through the door.

In fact, the off-season is when many businesses need to start preparing for next year. Whether it’s ramping up marketing efforts or remodeling, the off-season is when next season’s success is made.

Here are some ways to maximize the off-season:

  1. Marketing – No matter what months constitute your peak season, there are always opportunities to continue to engage your community during the off-months. Just because your customers aren’t walking in the door today, doesn’t mean you can’t go out to them.
  2. Projects – One big advantage of a slow-season is that you can decrease operational efficiency without worrying about affecting output. This means that your off-season is the right time to install new equipment or remodel your location. With the right financing in place, a business owner can defer payments until there is better cash flow.
  3. Leverage New Promotions – When the leaves start to fall in New England, many people stop ordering their Iced Dunkin’ Donuts Coffee. To increase the sales of their iced drinks in the colder months, Dunkin Brands has developed a “Caught Cold” promotion with area sports teams.  Despite the colder temperatures, this promotion keeps Boston fans ordering their iced coffees.

What are some ways that your business or franchise survives the slow season?

Photo credit to amyability at

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