6 Ways to Keep your Business Healthy During the Nosara Low Season
Health, lifestyle, activities, free time, there’s no shortage of reasons why many people are lured to Nosara to begin a new life. Some achieve this on the back of independent wealth, some work remotely, and many choose to set up a business. Although there’s been some unique Nosara startups over the years many local businesses opt to follow the tried and tested industries that make the town tick over, particularly when tourist numbers are high. These include food services, retail, hospitality, restaurants, hotels, vehicle and utility rental, alongside some vital local services.
Many of the businesses that succeed here in Nosara are a result of commitment, hard work and focus on the part of the owner. However, Nosara presents unique challenges that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. Ask any business owner about the biggest obstacle to running a successful tourist business in Nosara and many of them it will agree it comes down to one simple thing – seasons!
In any place where commercial trade is largely limited to the time of year, seasonal businesses face unique issues that year round companies do not have to deal with. Running such a business often requires meticulous time-management and financial savvy. Since, by definition many tourist businesses are only generating significant income during specific months, the rest of the year, or “low season” can be difficult to survive without the correct planning. Many of these obstacles involve fluctuating cash flow and sales. Consequently, seasonal businesses must exercise tough fiscal discipline if they want make it long term.
Here’s a few suggestions for business owners outlining how best to navigate low season, thus ensuring the future success of your business.
Given the only other choice may be to operate at a loss, many businesses simply find it makes more economic sense to pull the plug during the off-season, and start up again when town begins to draw more crowds. The best example of this strategy may be dining places and shops, which generate the most income from tourism. A complete low season shutdown also offers owners the much needed space to plan and strategise in regard to how best effectively approach the upcoming high season.
However, beware the possibility of shutting out local people. Each year sees more people move to Nosara on a permanent basis. They have to eat and shop too, right?
FOCUS ON MARKETING
Low season in Nosara brings the kind of peace and tranquility required to come up with some great marketing ideas. Oftentimes, planning a strategy during peak season can be rushed. Additionally, it’s a great time to get the word out among many first time visitors planning to come down the following high season. If they know about you before they arrive, chances are they’re likely to see your business as a first port of call when they touch down.
If your looking to keep in contact with visitors who already familiar with what you offer, then think about using newsletters, coupons, special offers,and social media to ensure your business stays on their mind.
Much like life, adaptability is the often the cornerstone of long term success in any business. As seasons change, so does your customer base. In addition to tourism, Nosara has a growing population of permanent residents in need of goods, food, drink, and entertainment. In fact the latter examples are often indulged in by locals more commonly in low season when they haven’t as much work to deal with. So how do you meet these needs?
Restaurants and bars might consider offering a low season menu, along with perhaps a loyalty or discount scheme that will prove popular with locals. Additionally, it may be beneficial for such local discounts to be extended throughout high season and all year round.
Such schemes and ideas are largely dependent on the type of business one operates. There isn’t a one size fits all solution, however some creative thinking may well end up being lucrative in these off peak periods.
CUT DOWN OPENING TIMES
Instead of the complete shut down mentioned previously, some Nosara businesses find a reduction in opening time to be a good middle ground. If you intend to do this, make sure to think about which times are best to open and close, and stick to those times. Tweaking your opening hours on a whim will confuse, and quickly frustrate anyone who’s journeyed to your establishment to be greeted by locked doors.
Low season is the perfect opportunity to closely analyze your financials and operate accordingly. It may also be the single most vital thing you can engage in to fend off the off season economic blues. This is the time when you need to be looking at your expenses, and finding any way you can to reduce them, Steps include reviewing your monthly budget and allocating cash accordingly, working with suppliers to discuss discounts and credit lines, and if you rent the premises speak to the landlord to discuss a monthly payment that correlates with the downturn in cash flow.
This time of year is also a good time to stock of the previous seasons activity and apply the lessons learned. If there’s any extra cash floating around, maybe think about solutions designed to streamline and automate your business procedures that will not only save you time and money, but will sharpen the accuracy of your books, thus giving your business more credibility if you ever wish to sell.
THINK ABOUT YOUR WORKFORCE
Often, cost cutting may involve hiring workers on a seasonal basis. Although this can be effective, it can also be an obstacle to creating a team committed to your business. If possible, look for ways to keep workers on, even if only in a minimal capacity. Loyalty can be hard to find, and if you come across an employee you don’t wish to lose, then do everything you can to keep them from jumping ship.