With spring break approaching, a large proportion of 18 to 34-year-olds will be heading out to various destinations to enjoy the sun and escape from the pressures of everyday life. For small businesses, spring break can present a range of challenges that differ depending on the nature of the business and its location.
While some businesses experience a surge in traffic and revenue during this time, others may see a significant decrease in activity. Therefore, the steps taken to prepare for spring break can vary widely. Nevertheless, we will discuss some ways in which your business can benefit from spring break and how to plan for the season, irrespective of your business's location.
Maximizing Spring Break Opportunities
No matter how your business is affected by spring break, it is worth capitalizing on the event to benefit your company.
If your business usually experiences a significant increase in traffic during spring break, the best way to make the most of the situation is to advertise your business and its offerings to travelers.
You need to identify what your business is renowned for, what distinguishes it from competitors, and what promotions, deals, and discounts you can provide to draw in and retain customers.
After identifying why customers should choose your business, you must promote it through various marketing channels.
Organizing a special event can be an effective way to generate excitement within the spring break community. A themed night, music event, or VIP sale could attract spring breakers, whether they are traveling to enjoy the sun or staying local.
Since the primary demographic of spring breakers is 18 to 34-year-olds, utilizing social media platforms like Snapchat, Instagram, and Twitter can be an efficient way to promote your business. Whether advertising a special event or providing information on why and when to visit your establishment, social media can help you engage with potential customers.
It is important to note that social media efforts should continue after visitors arrive at your business. Encouraging active engagement on social media platforms can help spread the word and attract more customers.
Another successful marketing technique is cross-marketing, partnering with other local businesses to co-brand offers. For instance, a local eatery may collaborate with a boutique hotel or retailer to cross-promote and expand audience awareness.
If Business Will be Increasing…
If your business is situated in a tourist town that is likely to experience an increase in traffic and revenue during spring break, preparation is key. Reviewing past performance metrics, inventory demands, and staffing concerns can help ensure that your business is well-prepared for the influx of customers. Consult with other local business owners for valuable insights and tips on how to prepare.
Proper staffing is crucial during spring break, and businesses should consider options such as overtime or hiring seasonal help. It is important to maintain compliance with all federal and state overtime laws when extending overtime to employees. When hiring seasonal staffing, businesses should consider factors such as budget, job descriptions, training needs, and how their spring break efforts can also benefit their summer staffing needs.
An increase in traffic during spring break can also result in an increased demand for certain products and services. Conducting an inventory audit and checking projections can ensure that your business is well-stocked and ready to meet customer needs.
Managing finances is also essential during a busy season, as preparation efforts can sometimes result in cash flow issues. Recognizing the need for additional funding in advance can give businesses more time to review their options, such as short term loans or lines of credit, and find the best rates and terms available.
If, however, your business typically experiences a slow-down during spring break, there are other steps you can take to prepare, which we will cover in the next section.
IF Spring Break means a decrease…
If your business tends to slow down during spring break, it's important to prepare properly, especially when it comes to managing staff vacation requests and dealing with a potential decrease in revenue. Even if you can't enjoy the festivities, preparing for the break can help mitigate any negative impacts on your business.
For small businesses that employ 18-34 year-olds, scheduling can become challenging during spring break, especially if your business is located in a college town where students make up a significant portion of the workforce. Time-off requests can flood in during the days and weeks leading up to the break, making it difficult to accommodate all of them.
To ease this burden, it's recommended to have a well-written time-off policy that addresses peak vacation times like spring break, Christmas, and Independence Day. Employees should also be encouraged to review the policy in advance of these peak times.
Cross-training employees can help alleviate any staffing shortages that may arise from increased time-off requests. It's also important to monitor cash flow as a slow down during spring break can lead to a decrease in revenue, making it difficult to manage operational costs.
While more than half of 18-34 year-olds travel during spring break, 48% do not. These individuals can still be a valuable customer base for your business. By offering relaxation, fun activities, or retail therapy, you can cater to those who stay behind.
Spring break means different things to different people, and small business owners must be prepared to face unique challenges and opportunities during this time. Proper preparation can help make it a positive or at least manageable time of year.