As part of the new Build Your Beauty Brand Series, I’m going to be posting some useful information that I teach my coaching clients in their private and group coaching sessions. If you’re interested in building your skincare brand, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Right now I’m offering a limited time promotional package of 3 retail ready skincare products (75 items) and 2 coaching calls with me (one hour) for $1250. Let’s make 2022 the best year yet! Be sure to email to get on the waiting list, OR Click Here to book your 1hr Private Consultation with me to dive into your brand via Zoom!
We also offer our manufacturing services for lashes with the complete design of lash boxes, styles, etc. for a completely custom product. For more information on our private labeling and wholesale services, see my previous posts on “Building Your Lash Brand With BK” and “Starting Your Own Beauty Brand 101”.
In some industries you hear a lot about “seasonality”, but what does that mean for your particular brand, and how can you take advantage of it? This post outlines seasonality, offers tips to help cope with the quiet times, how to prep for your busy season, and how to make the most out of both your busy season and the fact that your business (or those you deal with) experience seasonality. As you know, my focus is on skin care, hair care, and beauty brands (lashes and makeup), but this article can apply to any industry.
What is Seasonality in a business?
Seasonality refers to trends and events that happen on a predictable schedule. Busy shopping events and holidays, summer vacations. Think Black Friday sales dashes and Valentine’s Day gifts.Seasonality clearly affects many sectors of retail sales. The main “holiday shopping period” is focused, in the West at least, around the months of October through December. Cyclical effects, on the other hand, are not bound by calendar years but instead are cycles of events or factors that occur at less predictable times. Think of cyclical recessions, unemployment, and trends that come and go and then come again, like fads in the makeup and fashion worlds. Like that one Tick Tock famous trending product that went viral, or that peel mask, lol. However, because seasonality is predictable, we’re going to focus on that and how you can make the most of it.
Why is this useful to know?
Seasonality is about predictability and should be taken into account to make buying, inventory, staffing, product launches, and advertising decisions, so it’s important to understand how it affects your particular business.
Prices can also vary depending on the type of business you’re purchasing from. Supply and demand will shift as different types of consumers place orders for various seasons. For example, crop harvest times for certain ingredients shift around the world, so understanding when supply is highest means you’re more likely to get a better price for that product or ingredient. Even if your business isn’t affected by seasonality, your suppliers may be. We have seen many changes in the pricing with raw materials and containers this year, especially this season. Sugar and glass prices have soared, and shipping from other countries is at an all-time high (if you can manage the wait times).
Unsure about seasonality in your business? Here’s how to find out if it applies to you.
You may instinctively know which are your busy and which are your quiet periods, but you may not realize that you always sell out of one specific product in April, so for that item, you may be subject to seasonality. Do you sell a ton of holiday items? Then maybe start marketing it to your customers earlier than usual. Are you always hopeful that Valentines will sell out, and it never does? Scale back on your production.
Here’s a rough guideline: Review sales data from the past 3-4 years. Covid-19 altered many sales cycles and trends, so it’s wise to go back a few years before 2020 if you have the data. During Covid-19 we sold massive amount of hand sanitizer and that definitely threw off my sales figures. It’s best to look for notable increases or decreases in sales and track them. Is there a month or period that stands out? Try to remove that natural growth over time your business might experience
How to cope with the quiet times:
The most obvious challenge with seasonal businesses is managing cash flow during the quiet times. You’ll need to create and sustain reserves of cash as much as possible in the busy seasons. Luckily most beauty brands are not as vulnerable to seasonality as other industries. I like to put “x” amount back per week into a specific account and use that for operating costs. Every brand is different, and sales are different. Find out what works best for your business.
Activities before and during quiet periods:
Marketing! Develop brand awareness, and work to create and promote content. Stay “top of mind” for either the good times to come that are associated with your seasonality, or simply how your amazing products are the perfect purchase year-round. If you sell a sea salt hair spray, create a video of how to make it work on winter hair. If you sell SPF products, then make sure people know that they need them ALL YEAR LONG. Are you solving a skincare problem? Then the problem does not just come out seasonally, does it? Maybe it’s dry winter skin. Start those marketing videos before the season is upon you. Follow up with leads for both customers and retail partners. This is a time to remind them of your services, availability, and to let them know you’re a good fit. You can also use the quiet periods to call all your previous customers and offer special bundles and offers.
Solicit referrals, reviews, and testimonials to get ‘social proof’ that feels more authentic to your customer. Take time to remind your customers of your brand and consider offering incentives for them to provide testimonials or reviews you can use in your own marketing. I would do a link on an e-blast with a bounce back coupon for a review on Google!