How to navigate seasonal fluctuations with a business loan
Posted on June 24th, 2019
One well-known challenge that any entrepreneur might face is navigating seasonal fluctuations in the businesses or industry. The strategy to do this successfully involves developing skills and smart practices that will allow the company to remain profitable during off-seasons and periodic slowdowns. A seasonal fluctuation results from dips in customer demand or supply issues. No one can prepare for every possible contingency, but consider availing a business loan and avail business loans in India.
Short-term business loan
A short-term business loan could be your best bet if you need working capital for a short period. Like a term loan, this is what you likely think of when you hear “business loan”—it’s a lump sum you borrow from a lender, deposited into your business bank account. You’ll be able to use it as you need for the term of your loan. Short-term loans are usually less than a year to repayment, and some go to around 18 months. So, you theoretically could use the capital during your off-season and make the money back during your peak to repay your lender.
Inventory purchase financing
If the explicit reason you’re applying for a seasonal business loan is to refresh or replace the gear you use to make your business go, then you’ll want inventory purchase financing. With this type of business loan, you get a quote for the inventory you’d like to purchase, and, if you’re approved, your lender will approve you for the amount of money you need to make the purchase. This is an outstanding business loan for a few reasons. Number one, it’s what’s called a collateral-free loan, which means that the inventory itself serves as collateral, so you don’t need to put up anything extra. Lenders can also finance up to 100% of the purchase price of the inventory. And, sometimes, in a matter of days which makes it a great option for seasonal business owners who need to navigate seasonal fluctuations as fast and inexpensively as possible.
When to apply?
You have plenty of cash and zero time during your busiest time, so it makes sense to apply for your loan when things slow down, right? Wrong. In fact, don’t wait if you want that money. Although the idea of adding yet another task to your insane to-do list during your peak season might seem awful, that’s exactly when you need to apply for your seasonal business loan. And, it makes sense if you think about it: Lenders need to see the absolute strongest picture of your financials. Obviously, they know you’re a seasonal business. That said, if you can show them your strongest months, applying toward the end of your high season, your lender will be more inclined to give you the thumbs up. You’ll make a lender feel more confident that you can pay off your business loan, since you generate a lot of high-season revenue later, and have more in your bank account now.
The Bottom Line
It’s so simple that it almost seems silly to say, but it’s true: If you run out of money during your off-season, you won’t make it to your next peak season. You might not have considered taking on debt before, or might have decided it wasn’t the right option for you. Actually, business financing just might be the difference between whether or not you open up your doors the next time the seasons fluctuate.