The thing about seasons is- they change. And it’s beautiful! However, if you have a seasonal business, whether it be selling Halloween costumes or outdoor landscaping, the seasons are kind of a big deal. When those cold New York winters started coming around, nobody really wants you in their yard unless you’re building them a snowman. With six months of seasonal work and six months of downtime, there’s a big gap of time where the bills aren’t on vacation- even if you are. Here’s a few tips to help up your income flow and cut out some of that downtime.
1. Branch Out
The easiest way to “switch” your career without compromising your money-making business is figuring out what else your business can do. My landscaping business had an able and trained staff of masons, carpenters, electricians, etc… So I branched out from outdoor work to construction. Whatever your main source of income is, chances are, you can spread those branches further than you think. It's important to take a step back and look at what/who you've got, and everything they can do. Be creative friends! I was in landscaping for twenty years, saving up income for the winter months. Hibernating, if you will. And although it’s possible to live comfortably on just a seasonal salary, I’m here to tell you how to make more money… right?
2. Bet on Your Strengths
The majority of landscapers up in New York have always focused on snow removal for the cold winter months. However, if you know anything about the North East, you know that the snow is not a guaranteed surprise. We've had some winters that seem almost as warm and snow-less as the fall months. What do you do then? That's when you have to get creative about assessing your strengths. If you don't see an opportunity, make one for yourself. In the Midwest and Northeast, it's safer to bet on yourself than to bet on the weather (and sometimes safer to bet on just about anything else!).
3. Be Early
Another way to up your income flow is to use downtime months as paper work and design time. Maybe you're not ready to launch a new avenue of income. Maybe you'd rather buy season tickets for the Knicks. Whatever your reasons, there's much to be said for getting your pre-seasonal advantage by planning ahead. A landscaper can do designs for upcoming projects months in advance. You'll save yourself time and your time is money. Whether it's money in now or money later. The early bird catches the worm, and the early entrepreneur catches the best contracts.
The bottom line to increasing your flow of income is this: find your strengths by thinking outside the box. When you ask yourself, "what's next?", that's the time to really branch out and discover what else you can do. And lastly I'll remind you: bet on yourself. If you don't, no one else will. No matter the season of your business or the months that really rake in the cash for you, there's always more.
This isn't landscape design, this is lifestyle design.