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Cash Flow Management 101: How to Ride Out Seasonal Peaks and Troughs

Andy Rootes Jan 13, 2022 4:13:38 PM

Virtually every business across Sydney — and the world — must deal with variable dips and rises in their profits. Whether their services or products are geared to a certain period, such as the holiday season, or simply experience unpredictable demand regardless of the month, this reality can prove troublesome to their bookkeeping and income management efforts.

Fortunately, there are various solutions designed to help businesses overcome these imbalances when they arise. From knowing how to survive weeks of reduced capital to identifying when the right time is to acquire local outsourced help, these strategies can greatly improve their seasonal outlook — and help them come out on the other side unscathed.

So, what should you keep in mind the next time your operation is experiencing seasonal peaks and troughs?


1. Know What to Expect 

Primarily, no business objective can be reached without proper planning. From your marketing methods to production cycle, every step you take requires comprehensive preparation before it is executed, lest you risk wasting precious time and resources. 

As such, the same principle should be applied to seasonality. 

Of course, while it’s impossible to predict exact numbers, you should have enough data on hand to identify where and when fluctuation occurs. For instance, if you have an outsourced bookkeeping provider overseeing your finances, they can review your financial records to draw a general outline of your seasonal cycle. 

Businesses that are just starting out likely won’t have enough information collected until a few years down the line, but once they do, identifying the most effective solutions will become much easier. 


2. Manage Your Cash Flow

Regardless of how much more effective a business’s products or services are compared to the competition, they won’t be able to stay active for very long without one essential factor: proper cash flow management. 

Dozens of operations across Sydney close their doors every year by making the catastrophic mistake of failing to manage their income efficiently. As a result, businesses that experience seasonality will need to be even more vigilant of this pitfall, as they are at higher risk of losing control. 

The principles of cash flow management aren’t necessarily complex, but they can easily be lost in the mix of other priorities. As such, it’s usually in the best interest of a business to have their outsourced bookkeeping partner oversee some of these crucial factors, including: 

  • Taking advantage of opportunities that offer peak revenue to help supplement periods of reduced income 
  • Forming annual projections to identify where additional spending might be needed, as well as which cost savings could be made during low seasons 
  • Ensuring the company is releasing funds much slower than it is receiving them to avoid creating an imbalance 


3. Use Troughs as an Opportunity for Growth  

Watching your business’s revenue sink lower and lower can be discouraging, but it doesn’t mean your efforts to expand your operation should also come to a grinding halt. 

Though a low season might be frightening at first glance, it can also be a prime opportunity to determine new strategies to increase your growth. 

With a reduced workload, you will have more time to create a detailed plan with your team for the next peak, brainstorm new ideas for products and services to add to your catalog, increase employee training measures, incorporate improved technological solutions, and much more. 

Furthermore, to keep income from entirely flatlining, your sales efforts should remain strong. Some common strategies to follow during low periods include: 

  • Offering discounts to previous clients 
  • Holding sales on your leftover inventory 
  • Increasing social media and online engagement 
  • Setting up events for clients or industry partners 


Ultimately, by remaining “in sight”, current and future customers won’t forget about your business during these dips. Even if they don’t make a purchase during the slow period, they might be swayed enough to contact you as soon as your peak season rolls around. 


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