The long, warm days of summer—though ideal for selling ice cream, elephant ears and roller coaster rides—can be tepid in terms of revenue for a lot of businesses. But because the busiest time for these operations tends to be fall or winter, it’s often a season of heavy preparatory investment in stock and equipment. When the harvest comes, you’ve got to be ready to work the fields.
So on the one hand, you have reduced revenue. On the other, you have increased pressure on the funds you do have. And the bills, like those summer hit songs, just keep on coming.
Taming the Trough
According to the saying, you have to spend money to make it. Reasonably good advice. But hard to heed when you don’t have a lot of money lying around. Still, if you don’t invest now, the upcoming busy season may not be. It’s as though you’re floating in the trough between two waves—if you don’t paddle, hard, the next wave could take you under, instead of carrying you.
What do you do? Borrowing is an option, if you have the time and patience for the approval process, plus funds for the down payment. This approach could catch up with you next summer, though, since loan payments don’t slow down just because your business does.
A better option, one that will help you out as much next summer as this one, is to ride the cash flow waves with financing that offers seasonal payment plans. With a seasonal plan, your payments cycle with your business: lower when you’re slower, higher when you’re hopping.
This payment approach lets you affordably equip your business to capitalize on the peak season, before the peak season hits. You can start ramping up right away, but your payments won’t rise until your revenues do. And when you slide into the cash flow trough next summer, your payments will drop, which can be a big help in preparing for the next cycle.
Another way to smooth out your cash flow is deferred payments. With a 90-day deferred payment plan, for example, you can get equipped in June, use the equipment all summer to get ready for fall and not pay a dime until after Labor Day.
Looking for an alternative to monthly payments? Manage your cash flow with financing that offers quarterly, semiannual or annual payments—whichever works best for you.
You can also get step payment financing, if that’s a better fit for your business model. Payments start low, then increase as you get productive with your new or used equipment and software. It’s a good way to keep expenses in line with revenues and stepped payments can be tailored to match your expected ramp-up schedule.
With this kind of flexible financing available, there’s no reason to let a cash-flow trough keep you from equipping your business for success this autumn and winter. Get started now, while summer’s still young, and this fall could be your best yet.