Managing a snow budget is more than gambling that it will or won’t snow. Bad planning or relying on the potential to have a good winter can create major cash shortages. Be aware of the seasonality of snow business. Review your budgets often to help maintain cash flow. Use these tips for planning your snow budget.
1. Determine your seasonal cash flow needs.
Calculate your winter startup expenses, review your financial forecast for the snow season based on three factors: below-average winter, average and above-average winter. Calculate your cash flow based on all three scenarios on the entire year, and then by each month. Manage your budget monthly by comparing your budget to your actual. Adjust your budget as necessary.
2. Budget carefully.
Creating your snow budget is important, and sticking to it is necessary to ensure you can pay for regular overhead expenses such as maintenance, taxes and equipment financing when you have no funds coming in. If you have to pull in your belt and make monthly adjustments, do it.
3. Establish good credit.
Having good credit is vital for your seasonal business. Having the ability to pay for equipment rentals and materials can save your business. When cash flow is good, make sure your bills are paid on time so you do not go into the green season owing for the white season.
4. Revenue collection.
When it does snow, make sure you are prepared to bill for your services in a timely manner. Timely billing is connected to timely collection in the snow industry. Everyone forgets what happens once the grass is green.
5. Make use of the offseason ebbs and flows.
Make good use of your time, capabilities and resources during the ups and downs of the winter cycle. Owners can use this as well-deserved downtime. This is also the best time to review the past season, plan any changes for the upcoming season and prepare your marketing efforts for next year. Maximize opportunities to generate business process improvement initiatives throughout these cycles whether its revenue producing or not.